How to Manage Fast Changing Times
One of the quickest questions to come up (no pun intended) during planning sessions or personal coaching sessions is – How do I/we manage this in a Fast Changing Environment? Well, this is a good question and will occur more often since fast-changing environments is becoming the norm. Increasingly change is becoming the number focal point for every organization and every leader.
These dynamic times require dynamic solutions including processes, people, systems and culture (a leader driven factor). The key is to develop an attitude that change is good for us. The more effective we are at developing a sense of optimistism in responding to the situations, thinking in terms of opportunities rather than threats.
Here is a list of key elements or how to’s to increase the success rate for change…
- Focus on Current Issues in your Planning – A sound strategic vision rather than a detailed long term plan is important. The accuracy of detailed long term plans (Five plus years) are impossible to predict with any sense of accuracy because changes occur almost immediately leaving the plan outdated. Your focus needs to be on the details for executing immediate action steps rather than worrying about medium to long term plans.
- Establish feedback systems – You have communication and feedback systems established to monitor the reality of the current situations and action steps. Set up decision criteria for faster response to the needs of staff to facilitate actions and change methods. The feedback system is necessary to allow the team to buy-in to the necessity of the change projects to succeed. Decision and communication become criteria links during periods of change.
- Empower people – Allow your people to make decisions at the lowest levels possible – particularly when dealing with customers. You must let go of control and delegate authority to the people are closest to the situation and truth.
- Remove barriers – This includes you too. If you are an autocratic type of leader, then learn to back off and get out of the way of the team. Autocratic leaders and even the implied interference to ideas is the biggest obstacle to establishing a sustainable change culture. Fear overrides Creative needed for effective change ideas and projects.
- Encourage Involvement – Get people involved in personal development and learning environments to increase skill sets and knowledge. This insures the total involvement of capable individuals to join virtual teams, high performance teams and self-directed teams that get results.
- Improve Technology – This seems to be a major hurdle for some organizations that have been slow to improve their technological systems to improve the flow of information and communication within the organization.
- Use meetings effectively – Have meetings that have agendas and stay focused on the current issues and the solutions rather than problems and blame. Every meeting should connect the dots of how they are aligned with the strategic vision.
- Hire Better Quality People – This seems a no-brainer, yet, so often I see haphazard hiring techniques that are not focused on upgrading the talent levels of the organization. If you want people who can be empowered to make the right decisions then you must be prepared to select high quality individuals – especially for the criteria or key positions within the organization.
There you have a comprehensive list of things to do to improve your change management practices during periods of rapid and increasing change environments. If you have any questions, be sure to contact us. We have been assisting our clients for over 20 years to manage change effectively. We can assist you too.