“Change in inevitable. Growth is optional.” John Maxwell
The season is changing but that’s not all….
Let’s tell a Story!
CEO: “What I’ve learned about you is that you don’t like change.”
Employee: “Well, who does like change?”
CEO: “I do! And I know that’s weird, but I love nothing more than blowing something up and starting again.”
Both mindsets aren’t what a business needs. Not in a vacuum anyway!
But I can relate. I was once the kinda girl that would plan her next vacation while on the current one.
The kind of leader that leaned on “continuous improvement” or “transformation” or “modern tech” to drive (or ram through) a change.
And while I’m proud of some of those advancements and accomplishments, I think I was also a leader that caused chaos. The kind where people didn’t fully commit because “she’s like the wind”.
(No, not the Patrick song!)
…she’s like the wind… and she’ll change direction before we even start, so just let this idea pass.
There have been many ideas I’ve put in place and then felt like no one gets it or that people can’t keep up. It’s heartbreaking to put in tons of hours and lots of love only to then face failure or a diminished impact!
Now don’t get me wrong, on the other team is the “we’ve always done it this way” or “don’t break what’s not broken” kind of people. And they’ll never be actual leaders or builders. They may not have the passion or drive. They may lack the vision. They can be amazing at executing and integrating though so we need them and appreciate them!
So how do you find the balance between supporting growth and creating scale but not exhausting your team and ripping the magic and spirit out from under them?
- How do you stay nimble and “Day One” yet have discipline?
- How do you avoid bureaucracy and stubbornness?
It isn’t easy but I’ve certainly found more of a balance and here’s how:
Change that is in response to your market (employees, customers, vendors or others) is change worth considering.
If the change impacts willingness to pay (your revenue and experience and sales) or willingness to sell (your compensation and vendor costs) then it’s strategic.
And the best way to know that it will impact you strategically? Hear the pain point or feedback from your market!
Don’t resist the changes that are in response to your market. You’ll lose an opportunity or worse, you’ll get left behind.
Communication and Change Management
Change requires action.
And action requires repeated communication, buy-in, documentation, buy-in, multiple mediums and patience and time.
If you can’t do what it takes to entice action and influence others than the change will fail so spending resources on it is a waste.
If your changes aren’t working go back to the basics and communication.
And don’t tweak or fail fast before you’ve confirmed it’s not simply a communication issue.
Market response is needed but if you haven’t hit understanding or commitment, let alone action, then that response can’t (yet) be trusted.
Right People On The Bus
You need challengers.
The ones that push for change.
The ones that play devil advocate.
The practical folks.
The execution experts.
The lovers of blow ups.
If your team has the conversations from the story above then you actually do have mindsets that could drive your organization! So long as they keep up the candor respectfully!
If you build a strong “why” into your team and you align them to it and to your values, then you can work through decision making and amplify each other.
You should strike a balance of the change it takes to grow and scale but the discipline it takes to listen, communicate and execute.
Give those three suggestions a shot and see if you can strike a balance?