Do you feel the heat? Did you survive the fire? Have you been through a lot of changes lately? Have you reduced your workforce? Are your budgets reduced? Have you changed your processes? Have your organisation been through a trauma? Did you adapt your organisation to the future?
Change is demanding. Change requires time. Change requires efforts. Change requires energy. Change is done. What´s next?
View your Organisation As Is
You have just been through change. Be aware that the flames still stick to your shoes even when you have succeeded in implementing the change project itself. Your next step is actually the most critical in the whole change process.
There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting – Buddha
Whenever you have been through turbulent times, you have to acknowledge and see your organisation as it is. Is your organisation reduced? Are your people tired? Do you have enough staffing to do the required tasks? Have people had the possibility to grief over their lost colleagues? Have you given them the time to learn how to operate their new everyday life?
What you resist persists – Virginia Satir
Be honest, do not believe it´s over, – it will require effort, time and energy to get back to normality. As a leader, you have to accept that the organisation needs time to get into a new flow.
Create a New Framework
In my experience, we too often push the organisation through a change without reviewing the consequences upfront. We tend to forget to plan for what happens after the change has taken place. As leaders, we need to move the organisation from a recovery position towards a performing organisation.
No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it – Albert Einstein
Your next step as a leader is to adapt the organisational framework to ensure that the change is fully embraced. The organisation as a whole needs to get guidance into the new way of operating. Together you have to create a new and adapted structure.
Processes need to be aligned with the new structure. Some tasks need to be added, other tasks need to be removed. All employees have to get updated job descriptions adapted to the change. The organisation chart should be adjusted. People should be trained for the new way of operating. All will have to understand their role in the new system.
Communicate Out of the Flames
As always, communication is key. Honesty and integrity is a given. The organisation always requires more information than you originally planned for. In the same way as you should communicate you vision before starting the change, you need to present it again when the change is done. Your new direction must be crystal clear to everybody.
In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing – Theodore Roosevelt
Communication is a two way process. Be present amongst your team. Include people, organise workshops, host a motivational session, give direct feed-back, be positive and remember to thank people for their presence in the process.
Act like you would have done if your family just got through a big change. Either it is losing a family member, moving house, changing your family structure, dealing with sickness or simply discovering new ways of doing things. You would make sure you stick together, communicate and that all roll up their sleeves to move on.
Change is constant and your organisation has to aim for continuous improvement at all time. A leader’s job is to create a change friendly environment that motivates people to step into the future at all time.
Good luck with your next step in forming a performing organisation!
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