The Power of the 4 Ps in Driving Change

Karen Perka

Change is happening all around us in healthcare. But the organizational change required to adapt doesn’t just happen.

Whether it’s a change in insurance plan, reimbursement or IT platform, people don’t simply do what they’re told. As we know from sociology research and personal experience, people embark on a complex transition before they fully embrace and support change.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be a psychologist to help them get through it. There’s a simple formula. Just make sure your people have the four Ps.

  1. A Purpose

“Just do it” may be a great marketing slogan for sportswear. But to make a big change, most adults first need to know why they’re doing it.

  • Clarify and communicate the purpose.
  • Sell the problem, not the solution.
  • Be consistent.
  1. A Picture

What is the vision for the future? People need to be able to imagine how the change will feel. A visual fosters that crucial emotional connection.

For example, there’s perhaps no better way to create a vivid picture of a desired change than to have people visit another organization where things are already done in the new way.

  1. A Plan

This is how you make the change real for the process-oriented people in your organization.

  • Outline the steps and a project timeline.
  • Develop the training program.
  • Identify the support that people will need to make the transition.
  1. A Part to Play

People must understand their role and relationship to others in making change happen. Define the directions and expectations for:

  • Project champions
  • Facilitators
  • Trainers
  • Advocates
  • Team members

Throughout the process, people need clear, continuous communication in a relevant context. You must always answer the question: What’s in it for me?

Ultimately, I guess you could say that the power of the four Ps lies in answering every Q people have on the way toward getting the Rs – the results – you need to succeed.

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