In 1999, Dave Brandon became CEO of Domino’s. Daniel Denison, Robert Hooijberg, Nancy Lane and Colleen Lief wrote various IMD Business School case studies focused on Domino’s. They report that Brandon’s first words to employees were these: “If you don’t remember anything else about me today, just remember these three words: Change is good. Change is not a criticism of the past. It just means the future is going to be different. If that sounds exciting to you, you’re going to love me. If any of you are thinking ‘I’d rather do things the way we’ve always done them,’ I’ve got to tell you—you’re going to hate me.”
Everyone realizes that the pace of change has quickened. It’s true in our homes and social lives and is equally true in business. With preparation, your business can take change in stride. Without it, you can be thrown off course. How so?
1. The change comes as a surprise to your leadership team and employees. Unless you’re a six-year-old on Christmas Eve, you probably don’t like surprises. Your employees and managers don’t like them either. Prepare your team on how to respond when a change is coming. Advanced preparation, training, and organizational assessment can make change easier and your business run more smoothly.
2. You, as a leader, refuse to recognize changes confronting your business. Let’s say you are a healthcare provider or your business is somehow tied to the health industry. Despite where you stand politically, if you haven’t looked into how the Affordable Care Act will affect you, then you’re already behind the curve. No matter what industry you’re in, there are likely legislative, social, or technology changes that can have a dramatic impact on your business. As a leader, it’s your job to face those changes head on and help prepare your employees and leadership team.
3. You don’t think through how organizational change affects your work processes. You know a change is coming, your leadership team knows it’s coming, and you have a top-level plan to deal with it. But what about your front lines? Do your employees know how to deal with the change? Have they been thoroughly trained to face it? If not, what are you waiting for?
4. You don’t recognize how your employees are affected by organizational change. Perhaps you just completed a merger or acquisition. In your mind, it’s simply a top-level change. Some management shifts, a new name, etc. It may not affect the day-to-day work of your organization, but does it affect morale, feelings of job security, public perception? As a leader, you need the creativity and presence of mind to see the bigger picture to make a sure an organizational change doesn’t impact your bottom line.
So how can you avoid being thrown off course? eParamus can help you develop a strategy to keep your business thriving and moving forward. From the C-suite to the department level, we can scale your strategy to work for you. If needed, we can help fine-tune leadership development to target your senior leaders. We can also custom develop specific training for employees so they know how to embrace organization change and understand, as Dave Brandon said, change is good.
Have you ever faced organizational change? What was done right? What was done wrong? How did that shape your opinion of organizational change? Tell us in the comments.
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