Instituting change in your company is not an easy thing. It takes time, strategy and a commitment from all involved. It especially takes discipline from the top leaders to keep everyone focused.
In many cases, changes happen quickly. Owners or department heads read a new book, or attends a seminar or conference and they come back loaded down with new ideas.
All of a sudden, change is thrust upon everyone without any thought as to how it will affect what is currently in place.
New ideas or business processes are forced on top of existing ones. There is no formal rollout of communication, but expectations are glorious that this will have a great impact. Even if all of the thought was put in ahead of time, the main culprit that causes failure to keep change is a methodical approach and focus on the change daily.
How many of us have started new programs and stopped? How many of us have organized ourselves in a new way only to fall back into our old habits? The same applies to a leadership team. Old habits come back and we wonder what happened to the plan.
How can you help your team succeed?
Let’s examine the three main things you need to have in place BEFORE you barrel into change.
1. WHAT is the goal of the change?
2. WHY are you putting this change into place?
3. HOW you plan to achieve this goal?
Are you clear on the outcome you want to achieve? Can you visualize what your business will look like once the change occurs? The clearer you can see the outcome the more specific you can be communicating and directing your vision to your team.
This to me is the most important step in the process. If you don’t clearly understand why it is NECESSARY to change, then you are bound to be unsuccessful. Real change occurs when the why is strong. A half hearted why is not compelling to others. They just will do it for the time being to pacify the leadership, but as soon as they can they will drop the effort to change and roll back to old habits.
The why needs to be a strong reason: life or death for company, push back competition, etc. in order to rally your team to embrace the reasoning so they will be willing to embrace the effort to change.
Bring everyone into a room who be affected by this change and ask them to list all of the things that have to happen for this to occur. You will be surprised at how many things you may not of thought of or where there may be a hang up with the installation.
Assign roles or duties to individuals so that they can begin to pave the way for the rollout of changes. Be clear on setting timelines for this change to happen. In order for change to lock in, you always need to follow up. Monitor all of the execution points to make sure rollout is on schedule.
This type of involvement keeps your team working together to achieve this new goal or change. Remember that although it may be clear to you and you feel it should be simple to implement and change, it will take time for people to create this new habit.
You did not gain 20 lbs overnight and you sure won’t lose it quickly either. Plot your course, get feedback and work together as a team and you will see long lasting change for your company.