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Update on the Essentials 1-8 to lead change

Thank you to the Maypop community who helped refine the Maypop Essentials 1-8 Toolkit!

As mentioned when we initially introduced these, we needed an on-the-go kit of essential models that brings the wide range of change disciplines together to lead progress with respect for others.  To meet that need, the Essentials are industry- and effort size-agnostic and do not assume the method or outcome (since that’s what we’re usually trying to figure out.).  These tools help co-design the right approach for this team to achieve the right goals for this time.  New project managers or experienced change champions can feel comfortable applying the Essentials to start a good clarifying discussion on the road to baselined expectations.  Their intended use is to engage, listen, confirm, and commit.

This is the five minute intro to the essentials, with deeper dives to come.

1 - The Why/What/How map of change planning

We need an anchoring map of how change happens to work with, so we start with a unifying narrative. Every change begins with a trigger, occurring within an environment occupied by stakeholders who care. Those voices clarify what problems or opportunities they see and how they define success, failure and their appetite for risk and innovation. Use the Why/What/How map to transparently capture what stakeholders have defined as Why, and translate that together into the What of success and failure, risk and quality, goals, scope and approach.  From there, the clear understanding of How helps the team baseline roadmaps and schedules, support plans, and resources required to meet the definition of success. Let's see how that can look:

2 - Two sided coin of Risk and Quality

Clicking in on the Why/What/How map of change planning, stakeholders who care tell us what we must do to be successful, and what we must not do to avoid failure.  That powerful conversation reveals requirements for quality, tolerance for risks, and how we will manage both.  High level targets or detailed criteria, including both sides of the coin builds preparation and prevention into the plan from the beginning.

3 - The Three-part Budget

Jumping to the end a bit, initiative budgets are made up of three cost values:  What we will do, what we might do, and an uncertainty fund.  What we will do starts with the core work of the efforts, the scheduled work and spending to deliver on what we have promised.  What we might do comes from our known unknowns, conditions of threat and consequence that can occur in our timeline, requiring a prioritized triggered response in case they happen.  That response usually also requires more “will do” work, to prepare and watch for the trigger.  The uncertainty fund is for our assessment of unknown unknowns, and usually co-derived with funding stakeholders.  We estimate each of the three parts for each phase to be funded. 

4 - 4 Rs of tailored project support

Tailor the fabric of project support to be no more and no less than this effort needs, in context.  For each key area we consider, we use Rationale, Roles, Rules, and Results to meet the need by only filling the gaps, not creating redundant bureaucracies or default administrative tasks. Starting with why, then who, what, for what outcomes, use the 4 R flow to confirm value for each indirect activity that leads to direct successes.

5 - UN’s 5 Inward and Outward Goal Frameworks

When someone else does it well, go to the source, and these are global-ready.  The UN Sustainable Development Goals, all 17 of them, are anchored in 5 keywords, Prosperity, People, Planet, Peace and Partnership.  The Inner Development Goals framework organizes 23 skills and capabilities for collaborative change into 5 facets, Being, Thinking, Relating, Collaborating, and Acting.  Using our two hands, we can check our goals for reach, digging for more value and contribution from our efforts and including our collaborative development to do so well. 

6 - Six Cs of change design

No matter what the big effort is or how it needs to be done, the 6 Cs create an accessible landscape to co-design transformation.  Together, stakeholders can iterate through the work, how critical, complex and defined by compliance it is, speaking in the language of environmental culture, community, and compassion for this moment in time.  Designing from scratch or recalibrating, the 6Cs quickly surface what’s important to get right.

7 - Dignified change comes from RESPECT

Seven letters, sing them out. Respectful, Engaged, Specific, Personal, Elegant and Transparent involvement and communication with all change stakeholders and audiences designs dignity directly into the work from the beginning. Our shared commitment to what the end looks like and the journey to get there needs to be based on respect for each other to make lasting change deliver on its promise.

8 - 8 Ms of delivery approach

A one-stop universal conversation to agree on today’s unique conditions and the path ahead, the 8 Ms cross all the change delivery disciplines.  Mission, MIlestones, Measures and Momentum confirm the requirements for what we are delivering and when.  Membership, Mindshare, Messages and Methods confirm requirements for how we need to deliver.  Together, they help design, confirm, and healthcheck your approach, even within existing strategic delivery frameworks. A quality check dashboard or a structure for long-term value delivery, the 8 Ms seem to cover an infinite range of efforts! 

Together, the Essentials 1-8 make up a portable toolkit that guides the right questions at the right time to get the right decisions made.

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