5 Simple but Effective Ways of Implementing Change in Your Business

The only constant thing is change, but for some reason, certain business owners fail to understand this, and that has them a bit behind in the income department.

On today’s episode, you’ll learn how to facilitate and implement change and, of course, how to change with change.

The host of the Process Breakdown Podcast Dr. Jeremy Weisz features Tabetha Sheaver, founder of Plus Delta 314, a program which aligns people and processes.

They talk about steps companies can take to properly implement change, understand why they want to implement it, and how to get workers to adapt to the ever-constant change in the world of business.

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Show Notes

0:06 – Introduction

0:28 – Dr. Jeremy Weisz introduces himself and names some of the past guests.

0:50 – Dr. Weisz shares the best solution that makes documenting standard operating procedures drop-dead easy, highlighting a 14-day free trial—no credit card required

1:41 – Dr. Weisz talks a little about this guest’s line of work and achievements.

2:26 – Ms. Sheaver introduces herself.

2:50 – Ms. Sheaver talks about her book, Layers of Change, and steps involved in implementing change.

3:34 – The guest highlights five steps to implement change, starting with understanding what exactly you want to change, either personally or in your business.

5:59 – The guest gives examples of companies communicating well with their employees by using communication templates and building ways to communicate properly in different ways.

7:53 – The guest speaker continues to highlight steps to implement change.

8:44 – Ms. Sheaver tells some of the most common questions she’s asked when she’s training companies.

11:09 – Ms. Sheaver talks about the final step in her change process, operationalization.

12:46 – Ms. Sheaver points out some of the big mistakes companies make, especially companies that put key performance indicators they can’t really measure.

16:22 – The guest talks about a food manufacturer she worked with, and how she helped them scale their business with her processes.

19:55 – The guest speaker tells how she got into this line of work.

23:31 – Dr. Weisz names Tabetha’s website, and where she can be reached.

24:11 – Outro

Guest Profile

Tabetha Sheaver is the founder of Plus Delta 314, which aligns people, processes, and technology to drive meaningful business results.

When it comes to operations and marketing/sales, she’s had great success. She uses charm, influence, and a firm delegation of responsibilities to direct others on the team, and she has a passion for solving new problems quickly and assertively. Tabetha enjoys coaching and motivating others. She is optimistic and forward-looking, and she believes in change where it’s necessary.

Transcript of the interview

Speaker 2: Welcome to the Process Breakdown podcast, where we talk about streamlining and scaling operations of your company, getting rid of bottlenecks, and giving your employees all of the information they need to be successful at their jobs.

Speaker 2: Now, let’s get started with the show.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Dr. Jeremy Weisz here, host of the Process Breakdown podcast, where we talk about streamlining and scaling operations of your company, getting rid of bottlenecks, and giving your staff everything they need to be successful at their job. Past guests include David Allen of Getting Things Done, Michael Gerber of the E Myth, and many, many more, so check out other episodes.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Before I introduce you to today’s awesome guest, Tabetha Sheaver, let me just tell you this episode is brought to you by Sweet Process. Now, Tabetha, you may be able to relate to this, with some of the companies you work with. Have you had team members ask you the same questions over and over, and it may be the 10th time you spend explaining it? Well, this is a better way in a solution. Sweet Process is a software that makes it drop dead easy to train an onboard new staff and save time with existing staff.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Not only when I was talking to the founder, Owen, do universities, banks, hospitals and software companies use it, but first responder, government agencies use them in life or death situations, to run their operations, so you can use Sweet Process to document all the repetitive tasks that eat up your precious time, so you can actually focus on growing your team and empowering them. You can sign up for a free, 14 day trial. No credit card required. Go to SweetProcess.com, sweet like candy, S-W-E-E-T, process.com.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: I am excited to talk. Today we have Tabetha Sheaver, founder of Plus Delta 314. Plus Delta 314 aligns people, processes, and technology to drive meaningful business results, and creative a positive change in the world. Tabetha facilitates, speaks, and mentors organizations and individuals on how to drive system adoption, foster growth and sustainable change.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Tabetha, the thing is, you could have the best system in the world, and if it doesn’t get adopted, it doesn’t matter, right? Like, "Oh, I have this great idea. I have this great system. I have this great," whatever. Well, in order to do that, people need to buy in. They need to be able to adopt it, and so people can, you can check out PlusDelta314.com and learn more. Tabetha, thanks for joining me.

Tabetha Sheaver: Absolutely, thanks for having me.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: We are chatting about, you have this Seven Layers of Change book, that we could point people to, or they can go to PlusDelta314.com/sevenlayers, but you were saying there’s five steps that are involved in this. Talk a little bit about that.

Tabetha Sheaver: Yeah, absolutely. Anytime you want to implement a change, so this could be personal. This could be within your business, but you have to start off by really understanding why you want to make a change. That is this really big vision piece you’ve probably heard a lot of people talk about vision setting and I think that’s something that really happens at that executive level. I’m not going to talk so much about that today, but I’m going to talk about the process, once you get to the point of having made a decision that you need to make a change.

Tabetha Sheaver: There’s really five big steps, or five buckets that I think about things in. Hopefully, this is helpful to leaders as they think through this. The first one being benefit realization. What are the benefits that you hope to realize by implementing this change? Do you want to improve user adoption? What does that mean? Do you just want them to use the system more, or do you want to get more revenue because they’re using the system? Do you want to be able to get better reports because they’re using the system? You really need to be very, very clear on what the benefits are that you’re hoping to get out of the change. Nobody likes change just for change sake.

Tabetha Sheaver: The next step is really probably where you guys come into places, and this the role definition and the process definition component, and so what I see happens is a lot of times organizations say, "Let’s put a big change in place," and they don’t really sit down and define what does that mean in terms of each individual’s role, the steps, what they need to do day in and day out. Then how that’s going to change their life. When they put this change in place, what’s going to change for them, and really understanding that. A lot of times there’s some gaps in education or in training, and those start to get defined as we start laying out what those definitions of the process are.

Tabetha Sheaver: Then the third step is really all around communication. Everybody thinks they communicate really well, but I have found that you pretty much need to actually have a communication process in place. A process within a process, but what are you going to say to people? Why are you going to say it? How are you going to say it? Who’s going to say it? Who needs to approve it? There’s a lot, just within that. There’s entire companies that focus on that, and that’s an area where we spend a lot of our time and energy, but really thinking about the whole communication strategy as part of the change is pretty crucial.

Tabetha Sheaver: Then you get into training.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Really quickly.

Tabetha Sheaver: Yeah, go ahead.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Before we talk about the training, Tabetha, about the communication. An example of that would be maybe they’d map out, "Well, we’re going to send this email every week," or "We’re going to have an all hands meeting every week or month." What are some examples that you’ve seen that works with communication? Like you said, people think, "Oh yeah, we communicate awesome as a company," and then you come in from an outside observer and you’re like, "People don’t really, not really." What are some good examples of people communicating well with their, maybe frequency or the type of medium that they’re communicating?

Tabetha Sheaver: Yeah, absolutely, so communications within a process change, or a technology change is very similar to marketing. You have to have between seven and 12 touch points before somebody even hears you, and then it needs to be in different mediums. The companies that I’ve seen that do communications the best, is they will actually take a communications template and they will build out what are the different ways we’re going to communicate, and when are we going to do that, so that it’s really proactive. What that does is it allows you to create a calendar that says, "Okay, we are going to reach out to people every two weeks, or every week, but we’re going to reach out to them in these three different ways."

Tabetha Sheaver: Putting that all into one document, and really laying that out allows you to see, "Are we communicating four times in one week, in one way? Are we communicating via email, via social media, via our intranet, via a mailer, via a giveaway gift?" There’s five different ways that you could communicate. Town hall, that’s six, one on one meetings, that’s seven, Zoom training, that’s eight. There are all these different ways that you could go, "I got eight different touch points this week," but they don’t feel the same. What people tend to do is they tend to say, "I’m going to send an email every week," and so my recommendation there is really to put together a cohesive plan, and then lay out, so that you can see you’re not getting too many touches, too many times, in the same medium or mode. Does that answer the question?

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah, that makes sense, because I could see … I love how you relate it to, it’s the same thing you do for a marketing plan, is you roll it out on all these channels, and we’re talking about internal communication, we often, they should have a constant, the same thing. A calendar where they push all this stuff out, and not on the same medium, so okay, cool. Thank you.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: The next, you were saying is the training piece.

Tabetha Sheaver: Training, so getting into training, and this is … If you’ve done your role definition and your process definition pretty well, you’ll start to see where there’s gaps. This is, again, same thing. Internal training, we tend to just say, "Oh, have the guy that sits next to you show you," or "When you come onboard, you follow this training documentation," that never gets updated in the history of ever. Somebody creates it one time and then so to have training platform, or even just to have a process where you say, "Every quarter we’re going to come back and we’re going to take a look at the training documents that are there." Training is a whole other area, or section in change that people need to be aware of, and make sure they’ve put a good plan and foundation around it.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: What are the most common questions, Tabetha, people ask you when you’re talking about the training piece?

Tabetha Sheaver: The most common questions, I think people don’t ask a lot of questions around training because they think they have it figured out. What happens though in training is that there’s a technology initiative, or a change initiative, and they do training. This is a great story, so I just got done talking to a client. They’re a year and a half into there CRM implementation, and they’re really frustrated because their sales manager can’t get the reports that he needs. He’s like, "Nobody’s using the system, and I can’t get the reports, so how can I do projections? How can I do forecasts," and all these things.

Tabetha Sheaver: I started asking him some questions about what did he do for training, and he’s like, "When we rolled this out, we did 12 hours of training. We did four, three hour sessions during a sales training that week that we rolled it all out." That’s it, it’s a year and a half later and that’s the only training they did.

Tabetha Sheaver: If you’re in a sales conference for a week, and you spent 12 hours of your week, how much of that do you think you retained? That’s not how people learn, and so it’s just stuff like that. The new people come onboard, and there’s been no training, so I was like, "How many of your sales people are new, that have come on in the last 18 months?" "Oh, well six of them." "Oh, okay so six of your 25 sales people actually have had no training," so there’s some things we need to remedy there.

Tabetha Sheaver: People put training in the context of a project, and they do it one time, and then they’re like, "We’re done. We can check that box and move on." I wouldn’t say there’s questions as much as that’s a big thing.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah, there needs to be some kind of ongoing system for doing that training, because like you just mentioned, oh, six of these people are new. Well they never went to that training, besides the people who did, and we forget 95% of what we really need. It’s like going to a child and be like, "Hey, I just taught you addition. You should be good. You never need to learn it again." No, in school you just keep doing the same lessons and practicing it. It’s the same situation.

Tabetha Sheaver: Yes.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: What would be after training? What’s the next step?

Tabetha Sheaver: Well I think your point there is exactly the next step, and this is where I was going to say most people stop with one through four. They understand what they want to do. They maybe process documentation. They do some communications. They do some training, and they’re like, "At da, we’re done." They walk away.

Tabetha Sheaver: This is step five, which is operationalization, which is the hardest word in the world for me to say, but my favorite word, because it is taking all of those things that you did, and it’s saying how do we operationalize these? How do we build these into our every day ways of being? Whether that’s communications about updates that are coming through, or whether that’s preparing, maybe the support team. I know so many IT companies put in, or so many companies put in a technology change, and they never tell the support staff, the help desk, and so everybody’s up, we’re running, we’re doing great. Yay, we’ve launched the project, and then the help desk, three months from now, starts getting calls. "This thing isn’t working. How do I get here," and the support staff’s like, "I didn’t even know that we upgraded that system."

Tabetha Sheaver: Those are examples of how do we hand this off once a change becomes the new norm? How do we make sure that it is built into those every day ways of being, and that includes the training, and that includes the reviewing your process definition, and that includes looking at your KPIs. Are we getting the metrics that we want to get in order to improve our business. That’s the one that ties a bow on all of this.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: I love it. Yeah, and you mention with the biggest mistakes, as far as with the training though, and some of the communications. With the benefit realization, with the first one, what are some of the big mistakes people make, because if you make them in the beginning, it probably carries through, I imagine, through the entire project, and what are some big mistakes people make with that, with the benefits realization?

Tabetha Sheaver: This is where I said you have to start off with somebody who is a leader, who has a strong vision, because I think that is really the key foundational component for any change actually sticking. What I see happens at a lot of companies is the leader gathers a head from each department, and then stays, "Hey, we have a problem. What do you guys think we should do?" Everybody has their own goals and initiatives, and desired outcomes, and so everybody comes and the cobble together an idea, and then they don’t necessarily weed it well, because each person has their own agenda in it.

Tabetha Sheaver: You have to have that key person at the head, who is saying, "This is what we’re doing. This is why we’re doing it." That’s not to say you can’t collaborate. You need all of those people onboard. They need to give their opinions, their insight, their feedback, but that painting the clear picture doesn’t happen if you just have somebody who’s a manager rather than a leader, so if you just have somebody who’s saying, "Oh, we said we were going to do this, now let’s just manage the process. Let’s just manage the change," you’re not going to sustain it. You’re not going to get through the really hard times and the resistance as much as you would if you had a leader who can say, "This is why we need this change. This is our vision. This is our North Star. This is our mission. When things get tough, we’re still pushing forward." They have a really clean, clear picture.

Tabetha Sheaver: What I see happen, especially with benefit realization is people put these KPIs in that they can’t really measure, and so they say things like, "We just want people using the system more." "Okay, well how are you going to measure that? What do you mean by using? Are we going to penalize the sales person who only uses it three times a week, if he only has three accounts? Maybe he has three, 10 million dollar accounts. Are we going to penalize him because he only gets in the system three times a week?" No, probably not. Here’s somebody else who gets in the system 900 times a week, but they’re just spraying and praying, so is that person doing a good job?

Tabetha Sheaver: I think a lot of times we get into this concept of KPIs. We get really wrapped around KPIs, and then we can’t really figure out what the right KPI is, and we want to use it to measure and use it as a stick, and that never works. KPIs are good to facilitate conversation. When they become punitive, there are so many scenarios you have to account for, that I find that people just throw their hands up and they say, "We kind of have some KPIs. We kind of know what we’re doing," instead of saying, "We’re going to pull some numbers. We know that this isn’t the end all deal, but we are going to use those numbers to ask questions and to facilitate conversation." That’s a very different way of using KPIs than, "Oh, so and so doesn’t get a raise this year because they only went in the system three times." I see companies that want to try and do that stuff all the time.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah.

Tabetha Sheaver: It works for the short term, but not really getting you what you want, culture wise in the longterm, typically.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah, and there is an example of this, and Tabetha talk a little bit about this company that you worked with, was in the cooking space. What were some of the things they were experiencing, and what were you able to do with them?

Tabetha Sheaver: Yeah, so it was a CPG. It was a food manufacturer that had a sales team, who would go out. They were doing their thing, but they didn’t know the details of the backend, so actually place the order. What was happening was everything was just getting thrown over the fence, and then the customer service team would have to go figure everything out, and do the order entry, and again it came to us because the sales manager said, "I can’t get the reports that I need. I can’t get my sales people to use the system."

Tabetha Sheaver: What we came to find out was that it was really much more of a lack of clarity on where orders got placed, how orders got placed, what the customer service team needed in order to place orders, so when we started making it a tool for the sales person to get the information to the CSR, so that they could get the order in, it became a no-brainer for the sales people to start using it, because now they weren’t using the system because their sales manager needed a report. They were using the system because that’s what they needed to do to create the customer and client experience that they wanted to create.

Tabetha Sheaver: That’s where it has to shift. It has to go, what is the customer experience? What is the client engagement that we’re trying to create, not what is it that I need. I hear this old, what’s in it for me mantra around change all the time. I get it. It makes sense. You have to understand why it’s valuable to you to use it, but I don’t think that’s where we start when we’re designing a change, or saying we need to put a new piece of software or technology in. We really need to go, "How are we looking to improve that customer experience, and why isn’t that being done today?"

Tabetha Sheaver: If technology is the reason it’s not being done, or you’re stifled or you can’t scale because of technology, then great, but a lot of times I find people just throw technology at the problem as opposed to really peeling back and going, "Okay, what’s actually the real problem?" Well, the sales people didn’t know what right, the information was to ask. They didn’t know what was needed in order to do the order entry, and so instead of doing a whole training process and teaching them, "Here’s everything that’s needed," they used technology as a tool to enable the sales people, but again, technology is fine, but I’ve also seen a lot of people who say, "Oh, we’re just going to put a technology in," and so they don’t really define their processes, and so then there’s this chaos and technology implementations don’t work that way either.

Tabetha Sheaver: I think you just really have to understand why you’re doing it, and what those goals are, and again, that starts out with that benefit realization stage.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Yeah, and as you’re thinking about the result, to how it’s going to effect the customer, we’re going to do it, because it has to do with the customer.

Tabetha Sheaver: Yeah.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: It doesn’t matter if there’s a report, or this or that, if it’s going to effect the customer, people will do it because it’s needed for the customer, and so it … Then all those side benefits, like you were saying, right?

Tabetha Sheaver: Absolutely.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: I could totally see how … I’ve basically made that mistake of throwing technology at a problem. "Oh, there’s this problem. Oh cool, let’s just sign up for this," and then it just makes you feel better inside, but it doesn’t always solve the problem. It makes you feel better inside for the moment, and then you realize you actually need to implement it to make that change.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Tabetha, how did you get into doing this?

Tabetha Sheaver: Oh geeze, so I really just, I started out doing project management, and I was just on project after project where there was technology implementations being done, and nobody was looking at the end user and how it was impacting them. I was at a company, probably my first job out of college, and they put in a new system. I had already done a whole bunch of work, and I really fought through a lot of things, and they never consulted me. They never asked me my opinion, and I was the one doing the work every day. They just came in and are like, "Here’s this new system. Go start using this," and I’m like, "Whoa, my system’s working pretty well." I’m like, "Okay, but I’ll try. Thank you for empowering me and giving me a tool," and then I got into it, and it was missing some really fundamental things that my system already had.

Tabetha Sheaver: My system was just built in Excel. I’m not talking like this is, I had built a technology. It was just my process in Excel had some things that had fixed some gaps, and so I started giving them recommendations and ideas, and they basically said, "We don’t want to hear from you. You don’t understand technology. You don’t understand the system," and I got really frustrated, and thought, "It doesn’t matter if I understand the technology. I understand the customer. I’m the one who’s interfacing with the customer every day. If this is what the customer needs, then that’s what we need to be enabling."

Tabetha Sheaver: I ended up leaving that organization, and then only to go work at a technology firm and understand technology implementations more and more. Then saw that was still happening, so I really questions myself. Technology companies think that they do change management, and they try, don’t get me wrong. I love technology companies, but there comes a point in a project, where you just have to get the technology done, and so you can’t keep worrying about all these things, because you have a scope, you have a budget. You have these things you have to meet, and so all of the people stuff and the soft stuff becomes very overwhelming.

Tabetha Sheaver: My recommendation has really been to have two budget line items on any P&L. One is about technology change enablement. The other one is about technology implementation. Then within that technology change enablement, that needs to be a separate work stream, and does it work directly with the technology implementation? Absolutely, you can’t obviously do training, or roll out a new piece of technology if the configuration work hasn’t been done, or the development work hasn’t been done, so the two need to work very, in tandem, but when you have different people running the different work streams, you get different focus.

Tabetha Sheaver: There’s also a totally different skill set. I don’t know how many technology people or developers you know that are really good at marketing, but if you think about communications being one of the key things, you’re asking for different skill sets, and even role definition of process definition, that tends to be those business and analysis people who really like process and details, or training. That’s a teacher. That’s somebody who has a very different empathy or heart for people than somebody who is a coder.

Tabetha Sheaver: Again, nothing wrong with coders, but if you stop and you really think about the personalities needed to make a successful change, you need all of those things, and so to me it’s just super logical that you would segment them, but it’s way easier to just assign one statement of work with one company and hope that they figure it all out. It’s just a big change that’s needed in the industry.

Tabetha Sheaver: Anyway, I became passionate about that, and then I was like, "I have to do something about it," and then I started my business, and so here we are.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Love it.

Tabetha Sheaver: Very long answer to your question.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: No, I love it. Tabetha, thank you first of all for sharing your knowledge. I want to point people towards your website, plusdelta314.com. They could also check out the book online, which is plusdelta314.com/seven layers, or seven layers book?

Tabetha Sheaver: Yeah.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Seven layers, okay, and check that out. Thank you for sharing the five steps of change, because for anything, for any organization, for any person and for any company making that change, and having those steps are of the utmost importance, so thank you so much.

Tabetha Sheaver: Absolutely. Thanks for having me. I could talk about this stuff all day long, so if anyone has any questions, feel free to reach out.

Dr. Jeremy Weisz: Thank you.

Tabetha Sheaver: Thanks, Jeremy. Bye.

Speaker 2: Thanks for listening to the Process Breakdown podcast. Before you go, quick question, do you want a tool that makes it easy to document processes, procedures and/or policies for your company, so that your employees have all the information they need to be successful at their job? If yes, sign up for a free, 14 day trial of Sweet Process. No credit card is required to sign up. Go to sweetprocess.com, sweet like candy, and process like process.com. Go now to SweetProcess.com and sign up for your risk free, 14 day trial.

Owen: Hi, this is Owen, the CEO and co-founder here at Sweet Process. If you’ve enjoyed listening to this podcast interview, actually you know what I want you to do? Go ahead and leave us a five star review on iTunes, that way we get more people aware of the good stuff you get here on this podcast. Again, go onto iTunes and leave us a five star review. I look forward to reading your reviews, have a good day.

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