As I reflect back on 2014 at Boomer Consulting, Inc., there have been many changes regarding our client service, sales processes and overall messaging. Times continue to change and in order to continue to reach the ultimate goal, we must think about the overall picture. Change is hard but it can have a positive impact on the future. Planning, commitment, using your team’s unique abilities, accountability, and buy-in for change are all important factors to achieve overall success.
As we all know, implementing change can be time consuming, expensive, frustrating to team members and trying on your patience, leading you to question whether the changes were beneficial and worth the investment. However, if you are remaining "flat” as a company and feeling like you are not gaining momentum to get to the next level, then it’s time to reflect on the whole picture. What has worked in the past may not be working towards the future success of the company. The whole picture consists of all areas of your company from client service, marketing, business development strategies, technology and internal processes. Collaboration as a team and having accountability is the foundation that continues to drive change.
Here are positive ways to drive change for your company as you move into 2015.
As we move into December, I think about our own Strategic Planning, the changes we face as a company, how to keep the momentum going as we move forward, and how valuable this is with the impact it makes on our own company. Sharing the same strategy and vision, holding ourselves accountable with quarterly 90 Day Game Plans, and holding a one-day Mid-Year Review keeps us focused as a company on our progress on our One-Page Strategic Plan. Yes, we practice what we preach in the profession.
Not all companies see the value or need in Strategic Planning and are afraid of the accountability that comes along with it. However, one way to manage change is by Strategic Planning. When talking to potential clients one thing we hear is, "We are growing with no real direction and we’re not sure how we got here. Our people are uncertain about the direction we are headed and where they fit into the process.” Growing your company, developing your people and having a strategic plan are critical for continued growth and success.
Strategic Planning is a foundation for your company that feeds into other important areas such as Succession Planning, Technology Reviews and Talent Development.
Developing Task-Force Teams
In the television show Undercover Boss, a high-ranking company official goes undercover as an entry-level employee in order to gain hands-on experience by learning and doing jobs onsite. This often sheds light on processes and requirements implemented at an executive level that are made without really understanding how it affects their employees. I think this show demonstrates the importance of getting a broad range of people involved in decision-making.
Internal task-force teams are a great way to collaborate, strategize from different angles and do the leg-work that it takes to get to the next level. When piecing together your task-force teams for internal projects, keep in mind that it may impact business development, new technology implementation and roll out to internal processes, so be sure to utilize team members from corresponding areas in the company.
Great things happen when you incorporate people who can think through the whole process from beginning to end along with representatives of the key people and processes it will impact. This strategy maximizes your chances for success.
Think about accountability from a personal level. We have all held ourselves accountable at some point in our lives. Whether it was to lose weight, run a half marathon, get a college degree, buy a new home or become financially sound; to accomplish any of these, accountability was a huge player in achieving success and driving change. Accountability is even more important when it comes to your company. If you don’t hold yourself accountable how do you expect to hold others accountable? Accountability shouldn’t be a negative word but a positive one. If your company shares the same strategy and vision and everyone understands the expectations, accountability becomes a positive word for your company. This is culture changing.
Unique Ability of Team Members
Capitalizing on the strengths and unique ability of your team members is like finding missing pieces to a puzzle. It will add value to your company and help to keep key employees happy.
The first steps towards any kind of change is acknowledgement, acceptance and commitment. Don’t be afraid of change and what it takes to get there. Just remember, there will be obstacles but focus, discipline, collaboration and accountability will get you to your ultimate goal.