In business, change is constant. Customers, technology, the economy, suppliers, personnel, demand for goods and services, the list is continually growing.
Are you changing with these external variables? Is your rate of change more or less than these factors around you? Are you measuring your rate of change? Are your figures
improving? If so, where is that proof? What data could you provide to prove that your business is growing and thriving?
In the natural environment, the strongest organism is the one that can adapt to change
most readily. In business, the organisation that doesn’t adapt to change gets left behind.
Ever heard someone say: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? Do you say this yourself? Whilst there is a some logic in allowing useful systems to stay in place this mentality can be a good indication that there is resistance to change within you or your organisation.
Change is an essential part of systems development and continuous improvement. If change is embraced and encouraged in a business, the people working in the business feel comfortable looking for areas that need change and feel empowered to implement that change and promote growth.
Here are five suggestions for driving change and improvement within your organisation:
- Set challenging goals – Develop a business strategy that identifies goals that will help you achieve the financial vision you have for your business. Where do you see the organisation in 10 or 20 years? Hint: This goal should make you feel uncomfortable, it should stretch you but should be achievable. Don’t be unrealistic and set yourself up for failure – BUT, don’t take the easy road either. Your yearly goals, quarterly goals and weekly goals should now all build towards this vision. Note: Do your individual goals align with the organisational goals?
- Record your baseline – What numbers represent your normal performance figures? Have you identified the numbers that are important to the performance of your business. Hint: Don’t just measure the easy numbers to collect: There is no point in counting the number of cars on the road if you really want to know how fast you are going! Carefully analyse your business and identify what metrics actually show whether you are performing or not.
- Identify Metrics – How will you measure progress toward your business goals? Do you know how to measure qualitative goal? (Do you currently measure your customer satisfaction or your staff satisfaction?). Identify how you will measure progress and performance and then create a process ‘dashboard’ to regularly review these measurements. See my ‘Dashboard Blog’ for more information on how to review your metrics.
- Regular Monitoring – Regularly monitor your performance and continuously look for improvements in your system through the use of effective KPIs and metrics. Remember the steps of continuous improvement – Plan, Do, Check, Act and apply this process to your business systems.
- Communicate – Remember to keep your communication lines open with your team. Keeping your team involved in goal setting and performance monitoring is key to successful change. Everyone must know where you’re going, and everyone loves to know how well they have been performing.
Change is a powerful tool and can be used to your advantage if you know how.