Back to School, Back to Change

For those readers with children, you will relate well to this post.  Every August / September, the planning of the new school year begins.  Sending kids back to school is a reminder managing tasks, schedules, and planning at very basic level.  As a new school year approaches quickly, there are many tasks:

  •  Shopping for school supplies
  • Clothes shopping
  • Meeting the teacher & visiting new classroom
  • Schedule changes

Change happens all the time, like it or not!

Identifying Change. From changing sleep schedules, changing friends, different classrooms, new teacher(s), meeting new friends, changing wardrobe out (putting away summer clothes, sandals, and swimsuits while pulling out the long pants and tennis shoes.  These are things completed every single start to a new school year.

Managing Change. This happens more often than you think.  This post will provide simple examples of how managing change occurs in everyday situations, without even really thinking about it.

There are two major components to managing change: Planning & Communicating.

#1.  PLANNING planning

Developing a schedule:

  • Working backwards with schedule.  Knowing ahead of time details about the bus schedule; what time is the bus pick her up, where is the bus pickup, and what time is drop off after school. These are key elements that assist with starting a plan.  Such as, starting the bus pick up time to assist with figuring out what time to set the alarm, how much time to get ready in the morning (may include items like watching tv, getting dressed, brushing teeth and hair). This also helps with identifying a new bed time.


Identify Gaps, Assumptions, Risks and Constraints:

  • Talking about the morning route ahead of time.
    • Identify gaps:  The route I had in mind was not the same as my daughter plan.  We wanted to get up 30 minutes earlier to have time to watch tv.  (not a morning person)
  • Knowing what time, she needs to be up, helps me determine what time she needs to go to bed.
    • Assumption: if she goes to bed later and has to get up early, assumption is she will not be a happy camper in the morning.
  • What time the bus drops her off and ensure someone is home before that time.
    • Risk:  Develop a back up plan in case we are not home when she gets off the bus.
  • What to do if she misses the bus in the morning.
    • Constraints: I will have to drive her to school, which will affect my start of my work day.


#2.  COMMUNICATING:Communicateimage

Determine how often to check-in and then do it:

  • This is another big item for managing change. Once I have a basic plan in place, I like to talk with my family to ensure we are all on the same page and the schedule is working for all.
  • Opportunity to check-in and talking about it, helps us determine what may not be working so well or is working great.


Keep the dialogue going during transition:

  • By checking in with my daughter to see how she is responding (or lack of) to the change in bed time, we can make adjustments as needed. Maybe we only read one book rather than two books or maybe we get ready for bed a little earlier, allowing enough time for two books.


Now, think about your role in work and how much change occurs.  How do you deal with change?  How do you plan for it? How do you communicate the changes? You manage change daily and you may not even think about it.

Keep it simple with these two tips:  Plan & Communicate, Plan & Communicate, Plan & Communication!  Did I mention plan and communicate?



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