3 Ways to Manage Change
Constant change is the norm today, as everyone knows who works in today’s ever-changing environment. No news with that. We all live and work in a world that changes so rapidly that if you stop watching it, it could well be radically changed the next time you take a look.
The necessity of smart organizational strategy is equally obvious if you hope to compete effectively with your nearest competitors. In order to survive, the organization needs to be able to change as fast or faster than the environmental changes that threaten its existence. This newer strategy must be fueled by the leaders’ ability to look ahead to what’s best next and possess a willingness to shed everything that doesn’t accomplish it.
This can be a very painful process, particularly for organizations that have been around for many years. It’s why so many huge organizations often go out of business. There are three ways you can manage change within your organization and all three are worth implementing, including:
- Accept Reality – 21st century pace is 100 times faster than the 20th century so the hard cold fact is speed to market often outsmarts being large. And that’s not going to change. Innovation and new offerings can quickly undo the giants in a field because the new idea is faster, cheaper, or more dependable, or just plain better. Moving forward, you have to accept that what made you successful in the past will not necessarily carry you along and perhaps might sink you. It all starts with accepting today’s reality today with an eye toward the future.
- Communicate with Clarity – The need for clarity in this quick-paced world has never been more important. How many meetings have you attended that started with an agenda with too many ideas to talk through given the timeframe and ended without any decisions? How frustrating it is to attend endless meetings without a resulting sense of clarity or purpose. The process of thinking through what’s best next requires clarity.
- Create a Strategy – Managing change successfully starts with new goals and a well-designed plan but they are fueled by a smart strategy. A strategy not only tells you what needs to be done, but it provides a roadmap of how you’re going to get there. So many teams start with outlandishly large goals and programs without pilot testing them to determine if they are going to work, and they drain their precious resources in the process. Start small; prove your strategy is going to work, and then launch. Here’s a place where a slow and steady pace is the right speed and will beat a strategy that is not well thought out.
Using these three keys to manage change will help you make wise decisions that produce the results you are looking for. Remember to keep your pace equal to that of your industry. This approach will allow you to better meet the needs of those you serve who are equally pressed for time.
Tom Marin, president of MarketCues, a national consulting firm, wants to hear from you! Follow MarketCues on Twitter for strategy and related tips. Tom also welcomes emails, new Linkedin connections, calls to (919) 908-6145 or learn more at: www.marketcues.com.
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Tom Marin is the president of MarketCues, a national consulting firm. Tom serves as a senior advisor and change-management consultant with 35 years of experience. He has worked for some of the world’s largest corporations, as well as middle-market firms. Tom's focus is to plan and drive strategy shifts and strategic growth programs in the printing industry and a diverse range of market areas.