ActionCOACH Southern Indiana

Effective Change for Business Growth

If I had to choose one word to describe the last few years, it would be disruptive.  The nature of a disruption does give us an opportunity for at least one thing – Change.  The word we kept hearing was pivot: the need to shift our focus, products, delivery methods, finances, even how, where and when we were working.  That agility was necessary and effective and needs to continue as a long-term strategy in our businesses.

While we don’t always like change, it usually it makes us stronger. Disruption is an opportunity to evaluate our businesses and processes, then make changes that will allow for future growth and stability. If you’re ready to start making changes to boost growth, here’s a three-step process to follow.

1. The What

The first step is to assess needed changes and determine priorities. How significant is the issue now, and will it continue to be significant? Have recent circumstances made an issue more or less urgent?  Something that was important months ago may still need to be addressed; however, it may be able to wait.  A significant problem which has amplified recently should be considered Important and Urgent and needs to be addressed now.

Sometimes you may be aware of a general issue but need to narrow down what specifically needs to change. Digging into your KPIs may help identify the problem. Ask your team members and customers for feedback to uncover specific issues. You can also take our free 6 Steps Scorecard assessment to identify areas of your business that need improvement.

2. The How

Now that you know what, address the how. Effective change management involves stellar communication and leadership.  Clearly explain the need, the vision, and the process for the changes to get your team’s buy-in.  Involve the stakeholders to get their input and uncover any blind spots you may have missed. You can always expect some resistance to change, so be prepared to address concerns. Have a plan ready with a simple first step your team can take to help reduce overwhelm and get the ball rolling to overcome their fears.

3. The Follow-through

As the process continues, evaluate how things are going and the impact of the changes. Celebrate the wins and correct the missteps in a timely manner. Your willingness to change and timeliness in addressing problems will set the tone for the entire organization.

Disruption allows forward-thinking leaders to seize the opportunity for improvements. Focusing on important and urgent issues together with clear communication will result in an organization that may be different than it was several months ago, yet it will be stronger and ready for growth.

Author: Mark McNulty, Business Coach