Defining the change is started with the organizational assessment and process of defining the goals and outcomes of the TA engagement. With the development of a work plan for TA activities, the change is further defined. To successfully manage the change, however, it is necessary to continuously define the change with each interaction and with each stakeholder that will be impacted.
There are several activities that can help in defining the change. One basic technique is to explore the cause and effect relationship that led to the desired change through the “5 Why's” activity. The activity evolved at Toyota when they expanded their manufacturing methodologies. Toyota believed that by repeating the question "Why?" five times, you can clarify the nature of a problem.
Using the example of board development work from above, a TA provider can use the “5 Why's” activity at the beginning of a meeting to remind board members of the reason for the change. When conducting the organizational assessment, the challenge expressed by board members was that they had too much work to do, while the staff reported lack of follow through as their challenge with the board. The “problem” is the starting place for the activity.
What challenges do you face right now as a board? Too much work!
1. Why do you have too much work? We don’t have enough people on the board.
2. Why don’t you have more people? We haven’t had time to do recruitment.
3. Why haven’t you had time? We haven’t made it a priority.
4. Why hasn’t it been a priority, if it is such a problem? We don’t know how to recruit new people, so it falls to the bottom of the list.
5. Why does it fall to the bottom of the list of things to do? We’d rather do the stuff that we know ho to do.
There is nothing magic about asking five questions rather than four or six; however, experience has shown that five is about the right number to get to the root cause. In the above example, board members are acknowledging their desire to bring on new board members and also their need to understand what work they should prioritize and how to do that work.