Published: January 12th, 2016; by Judi Hughes

As business owners we are in the business of change management. So much of what we do to grow our business is about initiating and managing change. Change is an essential component of building a successful business.  Some examples of necessary changes to support growth:

  • Create new products
  • Expand into new territories
  • Implement new systems
  • Bring new people onto our team
  • Add new clients

Each of these growth initiatives creates and requires change!  And, change needs to be managed!

Our responsibility as business owners is to minimize the risk of failure of our changes initiatives.  And yet, when embarking on change there are so many moving parts that can impact success that it is difficult to identify the few most important elements to focus on for a successful end result.

Here is a simple and valuable tool called The Risk Assessment to help identify areas of vulnerability that  require the greatest attention and focus in order to bring the greatest opportunity of successful implementation of change in your business.

Step One: Create a chart with three columns.

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Step Two: Identify every EVENT that could cause the change to fail. Some examples:

  • We run out of money
  • The new product is not accepted by our clients
  • We are unable to convert the data from the old to the new system
  • A surge of new clients brings our operation to a halt
  • A change in legislation causes a change in direction

Step Three: When you are satisfied that you have identified every potential risk event, evaluate the PROBABILITY of each one happening; rate them as High, Medium or Low probability of happening.

Step Four: If the event does happen what will be the IMPACT; High, Medium or Low?

Step Five: Identify the HIGH/HIGH’S. That is, the events that have a High probability of happening and a High impact if they happen. Those are the ones you focus your attention on. What can your team do to prevent those events from happening? Or what can you do to lessen the probability and/or the impact so it no longer rates a High/High?

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Step Six: Revisit this chart regularly throughout the duration of the change project. Has anything changed? Is corrective action necessary? Are there any new EVENTS?

Change is inevitable.  If you want to grow your business you have to implement change. It’s how you implement and manage the change that brings the greatest success.

How prepared are you to grow your business? To find out, complete your Strategic Focus Scorecard TM