Are you satisfied with the way your business is performing today?
Specifically, what are you doing to make 2010 a banner year for business improvement?
What are you going to do differently? What are you going to do - to change? The challenge is how to change, not if.
Following are seven steps for effective organizational change in 2010:
- Create a commitment to change. Define a shared vision of what you want to commit to it. Without a clear commitment, you'll create chaos for the change you want to achieve. Creating the commitment brings you back to what you want to achieve and allows you to measure your activities against this commitment -- and ensures that you stay focused on your vision.
- Engage the stakeholders. Not just your senior management team, but everyone that is involved with your company as well. That means both internal and external members of
your organization (your team members, your suppliers, your customers, your advisors, etc.) Everyone needs to understand the upcoming change - and "What's in it for me?" Give stakeholders the time to understand that the upcoming change is in their own best interest to help make this commitment a reality.
- Visualize the changed future. Paint a picture of what your company will perform like as this journey begins - and understand, that the new direction, and all of the learning that takes place along the way - never ends. Many individuals will ask how the change is going to affect the company and, more importantly, how it will affect themselves. Use your imagination to visualize what you would like your company to be in one year, in 3 years
-- in 5 years. Share this vision with everyone in your organization, and do it regularly.
- Begin the transformation. It's easier to paint a picture of your future than it is to get started on it. Put together a step-by-step action plan with dates, deliverables, milestones, and who's responsible for the achievement of each step. If you break down all the steps you need to take month-by-month, quarter-by-quarter, it can more easily become a reality. Have a clear roadmap in place that outlines the process, and monitor progress along the way. Run into roadblocks early? You still have time to change course.
- Embed the new change into your culture. Everything you're doing should be consistent with the commitment to change. With every action you take, ask yourself if it is consistent with what you want to achieve. Will it help you achieve the end results you want?
- Create a sense of urgency. It's important to recognize that most of us, in reacting to change, want to slow it down - or resist it fully. But, if we accelerate it, we can move ahead. Let your team members know that it'sokay to be uncomfortable with change, but that the winner in business will always be the one who most effectively adapts to the new environment.
- Continuously improve. There is no finish line. There is no final destination. There is no "are we there yet?" Improvement and change are a continuous process, not a one-time event.