Managing organizational change is vital, as many contractors are new to leadership. However, most people resist change, specifically when they don’t understand its purpose. So, it’s only helpful that we talk about it.
Read on as we dive into the problems business owners may face when managing organizational change and creating accountability within their team and how to solve these problems.
Understanding the WHY Of Change
If there’ll be any change in an organization’s work process, leaders should be able to articulate to their team members WHY that change should happen. When employees are asked to work harder or differently, they often feel it’s only because the business owner wants to make more money. But if they knew what the organization looks like from “the top of the mountain🏔,” they’ll have a different opinion.
With more clarity on the purpose of change comes an understanding of how their own goals and aspirations will be fulfilled. It’s a leader’s job to look ahead, and an employee’s to be focused on their daily tasks. So many times, an employee wouldn’t see what’s coming ahead.
Everyone has their part to play in making an organization work. But, concerns about material pricing volatility, labor shortages, and consumer buying habits; only the frontman thinks about these things. So having a clear understanding of why changes happen and holding people accountable for playing their role in that change helps them see the importance of changes you may ask them to make.
Focus, Focus, Focus!
There’s also the problem of inconsistency with business leaders. They want to run multiple companies simultaneously. It is incredibly easier to start a company than to grow one, so there’s the impulse to start considering other service options you didn’t initially plan for when challenges arise with the first.
Many new business leaders aren’t aware that there’ll always be a point where profitability drops because you have to reinvest in your company’s growth. And because every company goes through these profitability waves, some years would be very profitable while others won’t.
It’s all based on what you need to reinvest in the company to get to the next phase. You hitting this junction where you aren’t making enough money isn’t necessarily the end!
Should you Pivot Often as a Company?
Short answer, no; long answer, it comes down to the company’s core values. Why so? Because sometimes, starting another company or taking on another service offering that helps support the bigger mission could be a great idea!
It brings a sense of purpose to your employees if you can articulate (with extreme detail and metrics) how your current work is related to your company’s destination. But remember, when you reach a fork in the road, there’s rarely a “bad decision.”
There’s never that clear-cut, bad-good decision. You’ll often be faced with multiple “good” decisions, which all create growth and profitability. Then your question becomes, “Which one is right to get us where we’re going?
It’s like a GPS. There’s not always one way to get somewhere, but if you don’t know where you’re going, every new turn looks right. And sometimes, you might need to change the company’s entire purpose. Absurd, right?
It can happen that you realize your company’s goals and vision don’t align with current market conditions. In this case, your company should leverage the current happenings towards your desired destination, not away from it.
The Power of One
You may have to cut off many things to focus on the ONE THING that makes for your progress. Of course, it’s fun that you have a thousand ideas, but literally, doing just one thing is so much more effective!!!
There’re two things it does for you:
Doing ONE THING creates consumer and market trust
When you’re always changing the message and mission, it creates brand confusion for people, and they end up not trusting you or your brand as a name. You don’t want to do retail this week and insurance the week after just because that’s who wants to hire you right now.
Who says you can’t turn down clients? It’s worth it because you’ll be known for one thing.
Doing ONE THING means doing purposeful work
It’s not about being a hyperproductive, serial entrepreneur that makes a lot of money but about having a purpose for your business. What’s the purpose if what you do doesn’t make the needed impact? Without a purpose, there’s only so much money you can make before you get frustrated and burnt out.
How Do You Present Your Plan to Your Team?
So, let’s say you’ve drawn out a plan to achieve your goals; how do you justify it to your leadership team and get them going in that same direction? You’ll find these few tips helpful:
- What do they stand to gain? 🤷♀️
The first step to getting your team on board is helping them understand what’s in it for them. If they can’t see that, don’t bother. 😂 You can trust humans to work more effectively when they know what they’ll get from it.
- Consult advisors 🧑🏫
Even if it costs you some money, employing trusted advisors can help you present your ideas to your team more effectively. They know how to explain every decision in detail to your employees to ensure it aligns with their aspirations. This alignment is one effective way to ensure they’re all on board with you.
- Collaborative planning 🫂
Another trick is to make your team part of the planning process and get their perspectives. It’s far more effective and reasonable than doling out orders and saying, “Hey, this is what you’re going to do.” When you involve people and get their input, they’re more bought into making it successful.
Ask them open-ended questions like “How do you feel about this plan?” “From your experience, do you think this will work?” It makes them feel heard and part of what’s going on.
If you don’t understand your employees’ dreams, goals, and aspirations, you’ll never be able to elicit real change. And if you want your employees to work for more than a paycheck, you have to give them more than a paycheck.
- Understand your team members’ aspirations
As the team lead, you should know what your leaders and employees want and link it to the company’s progress. If you can’t tell what your top five leaders want in life, you can’t get them bought into change correctly. If your mission isn’t big enough that everybody on your team can see success in their life as a part of your mission, they’ll jump ship at some point.
Employees should be able to start seeing that the destination you are steering the ship towards matches their destination. But when you start veering off that course, theirs won’t change. Soon enough, they’ll jump out and tell you, “Oh, I just couldn’t pass on this opportunity.” You thought they were happy, but you’ve assumed wrongly. They stopped seeing success in their life, on your mission, because your mission changed. 🥲
So, what if a potential employee tells you their aspirations beforehand, and you know your company isn’t going in that direction? Potentially let them go, and help them find something that does align with their mission. They may be loyal or afraid to make a change, but they’ll never be happy staying with you. They’ll start acting as lagging forces to deteriorate effectiveness, buy-in, and culture.
The SWOT Analysis — An Excellent Way to Create Organizational Accountability
Now, to make it all happen. How do you teach your first layer of leaders to implement these principles effectively? How do you get them to be their own “dream managers?” The SWOT analysis is an excellent way to constantly hold people accountable for the company’s initiatives.
- S stands for STRENGTHS
On what strengths do you want to capitalize? Let’s say your online brand is one of your strengths; how do you capitalize on that? You might want to grow your brand by getting in front of other people’s audiences through podcasts and shows.
- W for WEAKNESSES
On what weaknesses do you want to improve? It might be a scope creep that needs you to write down an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for ideas that come up instead of trying to make them happen right away.
- O for OPPORTUNITIES
What opportunities do you want to take advantage of?
- T for THREATS
What profitability threats have you recognized, and how do you intend to protect yourself against them?
This system will develop your initiatives and make your goals more articulate and realistic. All these are to ensure that the team’s attention stays focused. This is because in any high-performing team, especially in an ever-evolving, growing company, it’s essential to know your priorities each quarter of the year.
How Can Leaders Create Accountability?
Many leaders need to create accountability in their business but don’t know how to go about doing so. What do you, as a contractor running a 10 to 50-person company, do to create accountability? Employing a business coach is an excellent idea, but what exactly do you stand to gain?
A coach isn’t an insider
Everybody should have an outside resource that they can go to for advice. Ideally, this should be someone outside your ecosystem that you can trust with confidential issues like spouse and substance abuse issues or problems with your team members. Someone you can trust to share something they wouldn’t want to share with anyone on their team.
A coach isn’t emotionally attached to your business
A coach speaks to your challenges without biases or any tint of emotion. Venting to your team members puts you at risk of deteriorating their belief in you.
A coach has a wealth of experience
Experienced coaches will advise you not based on theories but on what they’ve done themselves and their understanding of things from different market perspectives.
A coach can understand each team member
Much more than their experience is the ability to apply their knowledge to your team’s peculiar challenges. If they’ve been with you for some time, your coach can know your team well enough to give honest, direct feedback.
A coach vets your ideas
Finally, your business coach can help you vet and articulate your ideas to get your desired outcome.
Understandably, people are hesitant to change because they’re nervous about it, but they can’t hide if you’re always talking about it. Especially in today’s rapidly evolving world, flexibility and adaptability will always prove to be critical assets to any company.
Help your team know WHY change should happen when it does, get their alignment to the vision set, and be accountable to a coach. With these settled, you’d be unstoppable! 💪