Coffee Conversations Ep. 4: The Four Elements of Change

Leaders—or anyone who wants to be successful in their career or lives, for that matter – must be open to growth. We should always be ready to take a look at ourselves with a sense of awareness and be ready to change when necessary.

This week’s episode of our Coffee Conversations series – created to share our internal leadership training with the world in a creative and memorable way – is about change. (Catch up on the series with episodes one, two and three.)

David VanderMolen, the host of our Coffee Conversations video series, talks about how to frame change in this Coffee Conversations video. Here is more from David on those four elements of change:

Personal growth begins with candid self-appraisal. In other words, personal growth starts by getting a firm grip on what folks in the field of Lean Manufacturing call your “Current State.”

The term “Current State” is another way of saying, “You are here!” or “This is your reality at present.” To be clear, coming to terms with your Current State isn’t always pretty, nor is it an easy endeavor; it actually requires a lot courage and a willingness to own whatever it is you discover about you, your current state or the reality of your situation.
In turn, once I know my Current State, or I am clear on my current situation, I’m poised to make or bring about a change with one of the four elements of change.

Do More. To change is to do more of a desired or productive behavior. A change can be expressed by adding more of what I want to my routine, my relationship or my work. As in, “…eating one salad a week serves me well, so I’ll add one more.” This is a “doing more” expression of change.

Do Less. To change is to do less of an undesirable or e behavior. A change can be expressed by removing an unbeneficial behavior from my routine, my relationships or my work. A change can be expressed in my diet by choosing to simply remove sugar from my coffee. This is a “doing less” example of change.

Do Better. To change is to do better at doing a desirable behavior or doing better at removing an undesirable behavior. A change can be expressed in making a slight or subtle shift, tweaking a practice or an implementing an improvement. This is change as expressed in terms of “doing better.” It’s the whole notion of, “…It’s working really well; but it would work even better, if I…”

Do Differently. To change is to do a different behavior to achieve a different result. If the current behavior isn’t working change can be expressed by replacing the unproductive behavior with an entirely new one. This is a “doing differently” expression of change.

What is your current state? What is one expression of change that you need to make right now in your leadership or work practices?
How are you ready to change?

Truly Human Leadership is found throughout Barry-Wehmiller Companies, where Bob Chapman is Chairman and CEO. A $3+ billion global capital equipment and engineering consulting firm, Barry-Wehmiller’s 12,000 team members are united around a common belief: we can use the power of business to build a better world. Chapman explores that idea in his Wall Street Journal best-selling book, Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring For Your People Like Family, available from Penguin Random House.

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