Change is constant – Managing it is a Skill
Today I am going to review the first three articles from Bain & Company, two of which were originally published by Forbes.com. I have linked these articles because they provide an effective path to implementing change in your organization.
In Creating Change on the Front Line the authors recommend that you spend time learning from your star performers. Having identified the changes you wish to make, the author of Measuring Your Organizations Ability to Change identifies the critical skill sets needed to implement change. And finally in Walking the Talk on Change the same author reminds us that we must lead by example.
As a leader of a SME you probably feel it is your and your management team’s role to solve problems. But you should not miss the opportunity to learn from your best performing employees, the stars, the employees who by their actions deliver above average results. The authors identify three steps to achieve success and remind us to look outside our organization for ideas:
- Analyze Data to find the stars and to better understand what they do differently from the average employee
- Spend time with your stars to observe what they do. Top performers may not always be able to articulate what leads to their success, but what they do on a daily basis will identify what drives their top performance.
- Use your stars to spread the word. Ask your best performers to explain what they do and how it leads to success. Employees are more receptive to learning from peers than from a company trainer.
- Finally the authors recommend looking outside the organization for best practices. If you are in retail, for example, you can visit your competitors stores.
From my experience of turning around poor performing businesses, there is a lot to be learned from your employees. They often know what needs to be done to improve the business but are often held back by history, “we have always done it that way”, a fear of change, or sadly a management team is not receptive to ideas from their staff.
I was once fortunate enough to attend a talk by Professor John Kotter a leading authority on change management. He stressed the importance of communication in achieving success when implementing change. He told us that companies vastly underestimate the need for communication, So as you implement change in your organization, – communicate, communicate communicate.
Look for Part 2 tomorrow.