Lessons From the Change Lab

Change projects are time-consuming, demanding from those involved an investment of discretionary time that most don’t have to invest. Among the barriers to success are disruptions to be navigated, resource constraints to be overcome, and the egos of affected stakeholders to be managed. So, when your team and you are developing and implementing your change initiative action plan, these lessons can help overcome your barriers to accelerate your progress: – Choose a project leader: While …

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Motivating Change

Pursuing change is as much a matter of the heart as it is of the head. Data is necessary for the rational analysis of, and planning for, a pending change; these are functions of the head. But data does little to address the heart – the emotional disruption, uncertainty, discomfort, or fear – that is integral to implementing change. When motivating your team to drive a change initiative, or to implement a strategy, revealing only …

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Becoming More Agile

In last week’s post, we reviewed the characteristics of an agile business – customer centricity, decentralization, and a small team focus. If you’re the leader responsible for strengthening these attributes in your business, how might you proceed? Pursuing agility compels changes in mindset and behavior, as well as to policy and process. Leaders expect that resistance to these changes will be a natural first reaction; emotions will be triggered and barriers will rise. Concerns about …

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Building An Agile Business

Urgency, complexity, and uncertainty define today’s market. Thriving in such a market compels us to build agile businesses that pursue perpetual innovation while preserving efficiency – innovations that adapt to meet customers’ real, changing needs and that steadily improve internal processes, including how these businesses may be led and managed. An agile business demonstrates three characteristics: Which of these agile business characteristics reflect your business operations?

Seeking Resilience

It can be challenging to find new leaders who can consistently meet performance expectations in our dynamic and increasingly complex work environment. Typical job postings cite requirements and experience levels, but rarely do they describe the behaviors necessary to achieve assigned goals and thrive in your business culture. The most significant performance differentiator is not what leaders do, but rather how they do it – their attitude, and how well aligned it is with your …

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The 3 Audiences of Change

Change tends to happen slowly because it impacts three audiences, two of which have the power, inertia, and communications to support or defeat the change initiative. Your ‘advocate’ audience perceives a change initiative as an opportunity to make a difference that also increases their visibility, while helping the company improve its means of creating value. They care about the change, believe that they’ll benefit from it, and so organize to support it. Your ‘resistance’ audience …

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How Strong Is Your Leadership Agility?

Increasingly, leaders are describing their operating environment as dynamic, unpredictable, and complex, reflecting shifting market trends that are concurrently impacting their customers. It’s an environment that challenges their established means of creating value, for customers and themselves. They need to promptly and profitably adapt to these highly dynamic circumstances, but often feel unprepared to do so. And the future promises that this trend will continue to accelerate. The traditional response to helping leaders succeed has …

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Choices Reveal What Customers Value

Building enduring customer relationships relies on discovering what a customer truly values. Proposing two or three alternative solutions to resolve a customer’s need communicates your appreciation for their business, and ultimately increases their satisfaction with their final decision. Here’s why proposing choices reveals what your customer values: How consistently do you propose choices to reveal what your customer values?

The Tale of Two Journeys

Progress in business is enabled by many factors, but perhaps the most significant is the alignment of two journeys. One trek is planned, the one that every business travels from milestone to milestone, towards a defined outcome, to generate profitability and business sustainability. The other is experience-based, the one that the company’s employees cover during their working life, moving from event to event, often in reaction to circumstances versus following a plan, as they pursue …

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Change Challenges Culture

In a market experiencing greater uncertainty, complexity and competition, the prime directive for leaders is not to manage to the status quo, but to make things better – to lead strategy or cross-functional change initiatives that create value, improve competitive advantage, and strengthen business sustainability. Leaders build and strengthen culture – and change challenges it. That’s why these initiatives must be led from the top. They are strategic and complex, requiring focus, agility, and accountability. …

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