By developing a culture that anticipates change, you can build a team that’s more agile and adept at productive, profitable transformation.
Change can arrive in the form of challenge or opportunity. The market leader in your space launches innovative products or services, and you have to scramble to remain competitive. Your biggest customer calls to announce a huge hike in orders, effective immediately, and you have to sort out staffing, outsourcing, and strategic alliance options to keep pace. Whether you’re building change into your roadmap for growth or facing an unexpected development, your company’s future depends on your ability to lead the team through its next phase of evolution.
While you can’t know which changes are coming, you can prepare your organization to know how to deal with change and provide your employees with the tools, training, and support they need to contribute productively to your efforts. Here’s how you might prepare for change:
- Find your internal leaders. Your role is to lead communication of the vision, mission, and strategy. But you want employees to embrace the change, not simply submit to it, and successful implementation will depend on people throughout your organization. Seek out informal leaders whose insights may play a role in refining that strategy and whose support may be invaluable in securing the participation of team members who resist the change.
- Put technology to work. Document sharing platforms, such as Microsoft Office 365, allow you to disseminate information to all stakeholders, and data visualization tools—which might already be part of your existing software—can help communicate goals and ideas graphically. Sometimes, graphics are better suited than words to communicate ideas or goals, and you probably already have data visualization technology within the software that’s already on your desktop.
Taking a strategic approach to planning for change—even change that has yet to be defined—can equip your company to respond productively to whatever challenges and opportunities it encounters. By developing an organization and culture geared to responding, rather than reacting, you establish a strong competitive advantage that promotes performance, profitability, and sustained success.
Read the second in our series of Connections to Growth Leadership guides, Harnessing—and Leveraging—the Power of Change, to learn how you can use change as a catalyst for growth.