What goes unmeasured goes unmanaged
Today I am recommending David Michels’s article from Bain & Company, titled “Measuring Your Organizations Ability to Change”
If the Covid Pandemic has taught us anything, it has taught us that the ability to drive change is critical. Mr. Michels states that companies that are good at managing change grow revenues up to three times faster than companies with lesser ability.
Based on research the article identifies three skill sets and nine factors which, if they exist in an organization will enable it to manage and implement change.
- Purpose: Although it is not stated in the article, but it is implied, explaining why change is needed and the expected benefits aligns employees with the company goals. Companies tend not to be good at this, so make sure you take the time to fully explain why you are making these changes.
- Direction: A clear road map on how you intend to get to the end goal.
- Connection: To ensure that employees are committed to the goal keep them informed. Communication is key to change management
Create Strong Teams
- Capacity: Mr Michels warns that any organization can only handle so much change. An error of leadership I have seen is what I call “Unfunded Mandates”. Edicts are issued from HQ that a project or change will be implemented without regard to the resources needed to achieve the desired result. Ensure your employees have what they need to get the task done.
- Choreography: The ability to adapt to an ever changing situation, if circumstances change, do not be afraid to adjust your plans.
- Scaling: Test your ideas on a smaller scale at first to see the results. If successful, a test program can generate momentum to scale up across the organization.
Organize for Change
- Development: Leading change initiatives is an opportunity to develop your top talent. But make sure they are supported by senior management, without this the project could end their careers.
- Action: The article highlights that it is people who change, not the organization. Change is about driving the behaviors necessary for success. Communication, support and encouragement are key.
- Flexibility: Here I feel the article is a little weak. It says creating a flexible is not easy but those that achieve able better to adapt to change. but goes no further. Some elements that I would encourage you to consider are:
- be tolerant of mistakes
- encourage experimentation
- build in feedback loops
- do not rigidly stick to a plan, if it is not working change it.
Tomorrow I will review the third and final article in the series that reminds us as leaders we must walk the talk