Nothing is constant but change … and yet …

They say it takes an organization 2 years to change its culture and that’s only if everyone in the organization wants to change.  Now think about it.  How many people actually like change?  I don’t know many who do, which means that most of us are dealing with change in somewhat resistant environments.

How do you manage change successfully?  The formula includes the fundamentals of communication, follow through, and the concept of ‘What’s in it for me?’

I’ve been working with a lot of industries that are going through significant transitions — technology, healthcare, and startups.  The folks who work in these organizations have seen all sorts of changes — new strategies, new roles, and new people.  Impressively, these people have been unbelievably successful at surviving.  Unfortunately, though, their survival does not mean organizational productivity.  In fact, it often means that if you don’t know who will be around to support you in the future, then you’ll take care of everything yourself — and you’ll spend a lot of time showing other survivors how hard you are working on your own.  So work gets done, but it’s not necessarily efficient or scalable.

If this sounds familiar to you, and your role is to help mobilize an organization like this, then you must start with a critical mass.  Find some colleagues who share the new vision, are energized leaders, and have some resiliency in the face of adversity.  Work with this group of influencers to find some positive initiatives that are motivating for the rest of the organization — inspiring business goals, professional development, resume-building skills, technology training, etc.  Use these initiatives to motivate each team member, and once you find something that resonates, integrate it into each person’s role.  Then, hold regular one-on-one meetings for project updates and priorities in context of the new vision.  These routine meetings will facilitate communication and should motivate each team member.  They should also unify the team through the new vision.  Plus they provide the basis for ongoing feedback on what’s going well and what needs to be improved.  Transparency and consistency go a long way in organizational transformations.

Change is not easy, but it’s remarkable how some organizations can eventually embrace it with strong leadership, clear direction, and positive reinforcement.  We’ve helped motivate many teams through cultural change.  If you would like us to do that for you, feel free to reach out to us.

All my best,

Aruna

“Everything changes and nothing stands still” — Heraclitus 535 BC – 475 BC

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