Impact Assessment Made Simple: Skill and Will

You want to take a drive out to the mountains. Good choice! But two basic problems could happen:

  • You don’t know how to drive
  • You have no fuel

No skill and no will mean no motion. 

I love simple ways of determining the impact of change. Some of you will be familiar with my 2-factor assessment which uses difficulty and desire to assess potential resistance. Leaders can apply it quickly as an early warning system about potential obstacles for change.

I recently came across the skill vs. will matrix and it also works beautifully to assess impact efficiently.

Without skill (competency, ability, or knowledge), performance is difficult or impossible. Without will (motivation, energy, capacity, desire, or passion) performance is unlikely.

When you are considering rolling out a change for a group, take a moment and draw the matrix, placing each team member on the grid. Now you have the basis for a change plan. The focus of the coach (leader) will vary depending on the type of gap for each person: A gap of will requires coaching while a gap of skill requires training and practice.

I’m not a fan of giant spreadsheets and formulas used to assess impact. They are a last resort. The simpler the better. Simplicity enables rapid understanding and buy-in among leaders and stakeholders.

Don’t rush into change, but don’t drag your feet with analysis either. Taken together, two simple matrices of difficulty vs. desirability and skill vs. will give you all you need to assess impact and build a plan for success.

Thoughtfully yours, 
Jeff Skipper

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