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Moving Towards Change


The movement towards change is a difficult course to navigate for many companies.  Emerging technologies, such as Social Media have thrust change onto many of us like it or not.  Accepting that the environment is changing is the first step.  The size of your company is not always the issue.  I have seen many large organizations (500+) adopt and still stay nimble.  Here are three key ways these companies have  guided their ship though the treachous waters of change:

1. Leadership:  It all starts from the top down.  If the leaders are unwilling to accept change, embrace it and want to steer towards it, then just be prepared for some rough waters.  During my time as a strategy consultant, I have seen many leaders manage change well.  The first thing all of them did (after accepting that change was coming) was to find strong people to manage key roles and got out of their way.   A good captain knows where to take the ship, and also knows when to let the team do what it needs to do.   Not all leaders can give that kind of trust.  If you find yourself in that type of situation, the question you should be asking is do you have a strong enough team?

2. Empowerment:  The next common trait these compaines do is empower their teams.  Change causes a lot of stress within an organization and one person can’t do it all.   Empower your team to do the tasks needed to be done and make sure they have the tools and resources to complete those tasks.  Support can come in many forms such as headcount, budget, and supplies.  There are other keys to support.  One company had the CEO address the organization supporting a key initiative and introduced who the team was leading this charge.  Setting prioritization is a key factor in allowing empowerment to take hold.  Another organization gave the team resources and a separate work space, in essence setting up a “start up” type team that had the ability to move independently from the larger organization.  The result?  The start up team found new ways to innovate and technologies that advanced the organization years ahead at major cost reductions.

3. People and Staffing:  Consider who will be helping manage the change.  Selecting the wrong people for change roles is not a mistake one can afford.  A couple of key competencies I have seen in change agents that top companies have been successful in selecting:  Willingness to do all roles regardless of their title, motovators, deal makers and negotators, can rally people around a cause, inspirational, has traveled extensively- is not effected by foriegn environemnts, and most of all a good listener.

The thing to remember is if it feels a bit uncomfortable, you are doing it right.  Heading towards change has many challanges and you are not always going to see what is on the other side of the storm.  Being well prepared, empowering the right team, creating a plan and make the committment to stay the course will guide your organization through the roughest waters.

Key takeaway:  Don’t worry if the path gets rough (and it will), stay the course and plan to make modifications along the way.  Allow for quick changes as long as they all support your overall long term plan.

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  • About The Author

    Mark Brundage

    Mark is passionate about Emerging Technology and its application across various mediums, especially Social Media. He address how companies can utilize these platforms to create engaging brands, new distribution channels, connecting with consumers (and businesses), and define growth models. When he is not enjoying the great outdoors in the Pacific Northwest, he is rooting for his favorite team- The Chicago Cubs.Read Full
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