Level three changes are about improving
Level three changes, as proposed in Rolf Smith’s “The 7 Levels of Change: Different Thinking for Different Results,” is all about making things better, improving and doing more. Once someone knows how to do the right things and how to do them right, that person begin to look for ways to make how to do them better.
Level three changes are fast. The changes are generally the easiest ones to make. It is at this level that the largest number of simple changes is found. The tools at level three that Smith suggests using include the Thinker’s Tool Box, questions and the five whys.
The Thinker’s Tool Box is simply a sheet of paper that has a line drawn down it separating it into a one-third/two-third ratio. On the left side, the person writes down what things are being talked about in the meeting. The right two-thirds of the paper are so that the person can make connections. People do not pay attention throughout the meeting. The right side of the paper allows them to diverge from the meeting, write down the idea and then refocus on what is going on in the meeting.
Questions are how we learn. By asking questions, not only are we thinking about the topic, but the person that we are asking the question of is also thinking about it. One thing that Smith proposes is to collect good questions, find one that you really like and ask it when you wouldn’t normally ask questions.
Children learn by asking “Why?” Smith says that using the five whys will get to the root of the problem. He also points out that it may get annoying, but the technique works. Whys can make you wise.
Level three changes do not take into account the interconnectedness that all companies and systems have. It may seem like a good idea in accounting to track every single paperclip used in the company with a check out form. Every other person in the organization will think it is a terrible idea because it will make their jobs harder.
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