Kendall L. Stewart, M.D.
Why are leaders hesitant to do this?
Auditing takes time and energy. Most people don’t find auditing to be much fun. When the audit reveals that people are not doing what they are supposed to do, leaders have to confront them. This is no fun either. And when the leaders aren’t complying with the recommended process themselves, no one has the heart to invest energy in an audit process that no one will take seriously. Leaders want easy lives too. They want to agree on the change required and then delegate the hard stuff to others.
What is the case for doing it anyway?
It’s just human nature. If you don’t inspect what you expect it will likely not happen. We all do what we want to do first, then what we have to do next. If whatever it is does not fall into one of these two categories those tasks quickly fall to the bottom of the day’s to-do list. We are never more creative than when we are coming up with excuses for ourselves.
How can you do it?
1. Design the audit process up front. If you come up with an audit process for compliance as an afterthought, everyone will have even less interest in it.
2. Begin auditing from the start. If you wait until it is clear that noncompliance is a major problem, you will be too late.
3. Create a simple audit process. If your audit process is too cumbersome or time consuming to sustain, it will not survive in the hostile organizational environment.
4. Launch the audit process as a pilot. Make it clear that you expect to improve the process as you go along.
5. Find some audit champions. The people who see no value in auditing will never be effective. Assigning audit tasks to the unwilling is about as effective as persuading folks to roll rocks uphill.
How have you audited effectively to achieve sustained organizational change?