Building a Sustainable Structure to Make Business Change Stick
Change is only as good as the length of time it lasts in the organization. The last thing you want is to spend enormous amounts of money and time only to find that a year down the road everything has reverted back to how things used to be.
Make the change stick by doing these four things:
Think strategically: To drive change, develop a documented and detailed action plan for change. A good plan helps you know where to invest in change and focus your efforts on the areas where the payback will be greatest.
Integrate your initiatives: An unplanned patchwork of change initiatives will promote bitter competition for resources, confuse employees, and reduce the positive impact of any one initiative. A cohesive set of initiatives will work together toward business objectives and present an integrated business strategy to employees. This will also help you leverage organizational knowledge, so employees are working smarter, not harder.
Over-invest in people: Over-invest in human capital. Build skills in your people at all levels. Broaden the technical, problem-solving, decision-making, and leadership skills of those in the trenches. Strengthen the facilitation, managerial, delegation, listening, communication, and diversity skills of those at the top. Employees will create extraordinary results when skill building is part of performance measures across the organization.
Reshape how you measure things: Change will require people to act differently. Build your vision and then design new measures that are consistent with its strategies and goals. If necessary, dismantle old measures and create ones that not only measure performance, but also the commitment to change. Clear goals and quantitative milestones along the way help keep change efforts focused on improving business performance, not just generating slogans without substance.