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Have you ever sat there and wanted something to change? Probably. What have you done about it to make a successful change transformation? Chances are, not a lot.
Most people come to work wanting to do a good job and don’t enjoy the fact that they have to deal with problems which have a negative impact on their efficiency; either causing them to be under-utilised or to spend time dealing with re-work or chasing customers. People often identify issues that prevent them from carrying out their jobs to their full capability. However, not everyone flags these issues, or if they do, they sometimes fall on deaf ears with their line managers. It is not uncommon for Balcroft to see communication of issues filtered, as you go up and down the various management layers within an organisation.
If you identify opportunities for efficiency improvements and your immediate managers aren’t taking much notice, it is up to you to raise these with more senior management. They will care, particularly if it makes people’s working lives easier, generates savings and enables more work to be absorbed, without an increase in associated costs.
Change is not easy, and there is significant disagreement over which factors significantly contribute to successful change.
Many transformational experts will concentrate on the need to develop soft factors, such as culture, leadership and motivation. These are essential aspects of your business’ change initiative, but dealing with them alone is not going to solve a problem. You’ll also need to look at hard factors. Research, involving over 200 companies, from the Harvard Business Review, has found that most change initiatives fail when the hard factors aren’t considered.
According to the research, the four hard factors are:
Duration – the time between project reviews.
Integrity – the capabilities of the project teams.
Commitment – this includes both senior management and staff.
Effort – of the employees that must make adjustments because of the change.
Researchers call these the DICE factors because with the right leadership and support behind your change initiative you can have a greater chance of success for any project.
Throwing the Dice
The major question within organisations is who is going to throw those dice? A change initiative can be a success or a failure based on the behaviours of just one influencer within the organisation. You can’t expect change to happen just because you want it to. You need to become that force for change, be the person who ensures it happens and take responsibility for the actions. But this is a hard task to do on your own.
You need to look within the organisation and seek those who have the skills and behaviours to help you make those changes. Another important aspect is to find the people who identify that change is required, who will support the change and have the skills to implement it.
Recognising the Need for Change
Every organisation needs change. Companies that don’t innovate based on market-driven environmental changes can face significant financial pressure due to costs and consumer abandonment. The three most important areas to focus on include:
Current customers – how to better serve your current customers.
Potential customers – what changes need to be implemented to ensure profitable new customers can come onboard?
Corporate culture – what changes are required of your workforce, to improve their behaviours and serve current and potential customers better?
You are the Catalyst
Once you’ve identified the need, the purpose and how the change needs to happen; you need to make it happen. You can’t rely on others to be the catalyst for change; if you do, change is unlikely to occur. What you need to do is be the catalyst yourself – demonstrate to others why the change is needed and what can be done to implement it.
The more people you can convince to join you on the change initiative, the easier it will be to implement it, whether it is a small departmental change or an initiative that affects everyone in a global organisation.
Getting the Support you Need
The problem is that you might be the catalyst for change, but it can be challenging to complete on your own. By seeking out support, both internal and external to the organisation you can collect a variety of skills and experience that can help you identify risks and overcome them.
Businesses should always be looking for innovation and change. It helps them remain competitive and drive continuous improvements. However, change isn’t just going to happen. It needs innovative people to be the catalyst, to realise what needs to be changed and implement programs to support that.
Be that person and make a change to take your business to the next level.
If you require support for your change initiative, then consider talking to a member of the Balcroft team. We have brought together a group of well-respected C-suite executives from FTSE type firms, who have lived and breathed transformation programmes within the businesses they have run, learning from ones that have succeeded, and just as importantly, the ones that have failed.
Using this experience to help direct the initiatives we undertake with our operational consultants, who all have a minimum of 10 years’ experience, we have helped transform multiple organisations, never failing to surpass the expectations of our clients and generating substantial top and bottom line benefits. Furthermore, we are passionate about transferring our skills to our clients’ staff, so change is truly sustained and they aren’t left dependent on our company when moving forward.
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