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Why Change Anything Now?

This year has marked in sharp contrast the two extreme viewpoints of a recovering economy –

1) our business is good, so why would we want to change anything now,

2) our business isn’t going as well as we’d hoped and we don’t have it in the budget to invest in change.

Both answers are real and both answers provide the same reason behind, ‘why not?’:

“…I’m ‘afraid’ (or any characterization of that word) to change anything now…because ‘I don’t know’ if the results can be attained.”

What’s incredibly nearsighted by highly-intelligent business professionals and executives is the desire to only gamble on a ‘sure thing.’ Nothing is guaranteed, and anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something.

If you don’t change anything, what do you think will happen?

There are certain situations everyday we gloss over because the embers of your situational-fire are only smoldering. One executive told me last week, ‘…I’ll wait until it catches fire and then we’ll react…’ sounds like great advice for an ostrich, but not a professional operator. Sometimes, I scratch my head and wonder how [these people] were hired in roles of leadership.

Some leaders prefer to tolerate medicority or less than excellent performance from their business units, because it’s easier to stay the same and not rock-the-boat. Some would rather be popular, or always right than be successful. Hey, you can’t push a string…yet some of you do daily! Until the pain to change is less than the pain of staying the same, executives and business professionals alike will sit stagnant and do nothing. It’s job preservation in their eyes, but in actuality it’s role suicide.

Until the pain to change is less than the pain of staying the same, nothing will change.

It’s easy to fire up employees’ passion for change when your business is about to go up in flames. The battlefield is littered with the bodies and corporations of mistrust and misdeeds:

Samsung was hit by bribery charges

United Airlines and CEO Oscar Munoz’ culture of mishandling  passengers in his famous Management Weaselspeak

21st Century debacle with Bill O’Reilly’s sexual harassment issues and Fox News Channel’s handling of Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment.

Who can ignore Travis Kalanick’s driving Uber over the speed bumps into a multi-car pileup with a litany of issues and criminal probes, and then there’s

Equifax’s data breaches in selling sensitive information to financial institutions and data compromises.

Hell, it makes Lou Gerstner’s task in 1993 of salvaging IBM from a faltering giant mainframe producer into a provider of integrated solutions look like the second coming.

So how do you maintain people’s commitment to change when business is good?

You’re smart executives and you know your company must constantly adapt if you wants to maintain a competitive edge. Yet without an obvious threat on the horizon your employees  may grow complacent. Hell YOU grow complacent! So how do you cultivate or at the very least encourage a workforce of relentless advocates for change, growth and performance?

The real, honest answer is it starts with you.

You have to work inside-out on yourself, before you can invite others to do the same. You have some great people, even a few Rockstars who are going to lead and drive change and growth without your guidance, inspiration or leadership because it’s ingrained in their own DNA. Four thoughts to consider:

It’s well overdue to replace command-and-control with values-based leadership:

Instead of galvanizing people through fear of  failure, energize them through hope and aspiration.

Inspire them to pursue a common purpose based on values they help to define.

Ask them what prevents them from living those values—and launch change initiatives to remove obstacles.

As enduring companies like Zappos, Netflix, Publix, Chik-Fila and others have discovered,  values-based leadership enables your people to respond quickly, flexibly, and creatively to a never-ending stream of strategic challenges without the BS of compliance encumbrances. Next steps are:

GATHER EMPLOYEES’ INPUT ON VALUES – Assess the strategic challenges facing your
company. Propose values you believe will help your firm meet those challenges. Collect
employees’ feedback on your ideas.

ANALYZE EMPLOYEES’ INPUT – Examine employees’ input for themes. Themes you can believe, lead and model.

REVISE YOUR VALUES – Based on the themes in employees’ input, create a revised set of values by inviting feedback. Keep checking in – finger on the pulse

IDENTIFY OBSTACLES TO LIVING THE VALUES and remove them – Examine employees’ responses to identify what’s preventing your company from living its agreed-upon values.
They understood the need to reintegrate the company but lamented obstacles.

LAUNCH CHANGE INITIATIVES TO REMOVE OBSTACLES – Initiate change to enable people
to live the values.

Start small and commit to an ongoing evolution instead of thinking ‘this’ is a project or an event. It’s a good start and you must begin somewhere. Maybe you’d like to research more on how we can support your change initiatives:

How to Impact Your Organization

Culture – It’s What’s for Dinner

So You Want to Craft a New Culture

We offer a 90-day Quick Start program for you to test the waters. Elegant Leaders will run a pilot to ensure the direction is clear and the strategy is sound. If you’re tired of tolerating mediocrity, if you’re not clear or successful what will happen and what will it cost you if you do nothing?

Click here for a FREE Gift – Does Your Company Have the Cultural Capacity for High Performance and Growth?

What we teach, coach you and your team can be implemented for years to come. If you don’t believe you’re going to stop at nothing to achieve the results you must have to be successful, then you shouldn’t invest. That’s why our clients consistently receive 5-10X on their investment. Email us or give me a call for a no obligation conversation 205-482-2177. Learn more about us here…

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