Have you noticed that change happens whether you want it to or not? Change seems to foster more change. Using the last 10 years as an example, change comes in spurts in specific areas, but change always accelerates over time. Change causes change to happen faster over time.
Incremental change is noticeable in the short term. Radical change happens faster looking back, but who has time for that? In fact, with the new economic stress, business leaders and owners have some new challenges. You need to watch costs, eliminate waste, tighten belts, and increase productivity just to stay alive until the economy comes out of its funk. Even so, few would disagree that their business will be different when the funk is over.
So how do you address strategic initiatives during this time? How can you keep some degree of a competitive edge so that when the funk is over, you’re in a position to actually grow your business? How can you take advantage of opportunities that arise now, during the funk, when you’re trying to run lean and mean?
One way is to avoid one layoff. Let’s face it. In a company of 100 employees, one good extra employee over the minimum only affects your overall productivity by 1%. You can invest 1% in growing your business, can’t you?
The problem comes when that person doesn’t have the skills necessary. The business needs a change manager; someone who can define, prioritize, plan, execute and manage improvements to your business. Only one problem; that’s probably you! You’re not the extra employee, but you are the person who can best improve your business. So now what? Any ideas?
One idea is to actually engage a change consultant. Many people are project managers and can manage projects. According to John Kotter, in A Sense Of Urgency, 70% of corporate change initiatives fail and more are over budget, late, or fail to meet all of their objectives.
A change consultant should help identify the change, achieve buy-in from the affected parties, develop the plan, oversee the execution phase, implement measuring and monitoring procedures, and train the people who will manage the new process, service, or product line going forward. That work seldom happens when already loaded staff members try to shoe-horn an initiative into their normal goals and objectives.
Think about it. More capacity exists today than ever before. You may know someone with these specialized skills who’s looking for work. If so, talk to them and make your own dent in the economic downturn. If not, give us a call. We have proven change agents on staff to assist with your objective.