Making Your Company More Agile and Adaptive–Part B
Agile, lean organizations thrive on change, catalyzing the transformation of entire industries, up to and including the world economy. By comparison, established, legacy companies require a more hierarchical, less decentralized organizational structure. However, the most successful among them have adopted agile strategies with measurable improvements to ROI.
Regardless of your product or service, assess whether the following change strategies might help your business–
- Question the Status Quo
Closely evaluate the pros and cons of all your processes, product and service options. Get detailed feedback about what’s working and what isn’t from employees via focus groups and online questionnaires. (Be sure to protect their privacy to ensure objective responses). One classic example of success–Apple’s transformation from a struggling computer manufacturer to the world’s largest, most profitable company (an edge they’re beginning to lose). The company reinvented itself from within.
- Develop a Plan
“Be reasonably aspirational” in conceiving and evaluating your options. Organization development business consultants with a demonstrated record of successful interventions can give you invaluable feedback about the most promising strategies for your business. –They can also help you develop metrics to define and measure your change criteria at Time 1, before implementation.
- Reinforce the Benefits of Change
Clearly communicate your long-term vision and the benefits of planned changes to your employees at all levels. This is reinforced by training, internal media and coaching. Organizational development research reveals that 44% of employees don’t understand what they are expected to do in their respective roles to implement a change initiative and 33% don’t understand it. –Remember, it’s human nature to resist change. Make the benefits of impending change tangible and exciting for employees.
- Establish Short Term Goals
Implement changes one step at a time with short-term goals that are achievable and manageable. Establish all necessary channels of communication with your employees so they can give you feedback about their challenges. Keep them informed about your tactical adjustments.
- Measure Results
After the change is completed, do a Time 2 evaluation of results. Be sure to repeat the process in following years to fine tune future improvements.