Catalyst For Change

The magnitude and frequency of change over the past year has been daunting, testing even the most competent leaders. While many were able to right the ship (especially in those organizations amenable to eCommerce and Zoom), few leaders would qualify the last year as one in which their teams and organizations thrived.

As organizations begin to shift their attention to a post-pandemic life, there is a unique opportunity to invite fresh thinking, and to transform — or at least, challenge — the status quo.

As you work through what the new world order looks like for your organization, consider the following seven questions:

  1. What is our primary goal? In other words, what are we solving for?  A goal of driving top line revenue will likely require a different approach than one designed to retain employees or enhance the customer experience. 
  1. What is our decision-making process?  Exercising transparency and identifying roles, responsibilities and key milestones will go a long way to ensuring trust and, ultimately, buy-in to policies and practices. 
  1. How will we evolve our process and decisions along the way, based on what we learn?  This is the epitome of change management: Don’t get too wedded to a solution. Put criteria and guardrails in place, then monitor outcomes and adjust accordingly.
  1. Who needs to be included, and how?  When people lack a voice in the process, they feel powerless and can contribute to retention issues. Ensure all stakeholders have an opportunity to weigh in.
  1. How can I invite “clean slate” thinking? If you were starting from scratch, how might your organization look or behave differently? Consider what kind of organization you want to be next year, three years out, etc.  Does the current structure accommodate that vision and move you closer? Get out of the weeds and zoom out.
  1. What personal assumptions do I need to check and challenge? Just because your team has always worked well under one roof, or because you love the ad hoc nature of face-to-face, may not mean that’s the best way to accomplish your goals moving forward
  1. What is my tolerance for a mix of solutions? One size does not fit all. Personality and life stage matter. What may have worked fine for someone early in their career may be a less attractive option when in the thick of raising children. Some people are highly effective in a work from home setting, others not so much.

Above all else, bring your energy and best self to effect and drive change. This is a unique time to reevaluate the status quo, and perhaps shake things up a bit. Leaders adept at change management will thrive.

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