Change… Really?

I have listened to many a sermon (well, maybe just a call to action) from the leader of an organization that started out the year with a “New year, need for change – an organizational change…” How many times have you seen the new organizational charts come out with some shuffling of the decks, or “new” folks coming in? The call is for organizational change… Can that really happen? My honest opinion is “no!” No matter what you do to shuffle the deck or add a new person to the organizational chart will do nothing. What does it take for “real” organization change? Think about that for  a minute. I think we all have ideas about that. Well, here is my take…

Look at yourself: If you want change you have to be the first one to step up and make the change that you want. How many times have you watched the leader say, “we need to change and here is where I think we need to go”? This is the one area that we can learn from those that have failed in the past. I really feel that the change starts at the top. I used to tell my team, “hold me totally accountable. If I am failing, tell me!” Step up and lead.

It is a two way street: Make sure that you are making it more than just a powerpoint presentation. Have open and honest communications with your team. I know we all have seen the nice slides and gotten some charge out of them, but when you want to go deeper, there was nothing deeper. Make sure you have open lines of communications.

Make that change – obtainable: It is easy to look at something that is so far out there. We all like to have visions of grandeur, but please be realistic. Make sure that everything that you want is something that CAN happen…

Get the troops involved: If you really want change, you better figure out how to include your team. Setting expectations is something we all have to do. There is no question about that. It is important how you include your team in that process. The most successful changes that I have witnessed have one thing in common, everyone was standing together around the vision. Start small and encourage them. The rest will follow, especially if you have done the first 3…

Don’t rush the troops: It is always easy to push for results. Be patient, please. Take your time and encourage your folks. Failure is always just around the corner, especially if you rush everyone. Stand firm, but remember that patient is a virtue.

I bet there is always more that one can do to make sure that the change that they want, will happen. From my experience, these are the things that I need to have to look at. Do you have anything to add?

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