Driving Change Amidst Turmoil

Bob Schultek Author of
The Gauntlet

Supply chain challenges and rampant inflation continue to disrupt businesses of all sizes, causing them to revise strategies and priorities as they adapt to new realities. Having navigated Covid shutdowns, and the subsequent transitions back to work, leaders are now compelled to control rapidly escalating costs that are crushing margins and constraining the achievement of revenue goals.  

It’s one thing for leaders to drive proactive, productive change when the business is growing; it’s another when strategy and structure revisions are required in reaction to negative business conditions that change priorities. The resulting organizational stress is yet another test for your culture.   

Strategies, products and processes may change when necessary, but your culture, and the relationships that sustain it, should not. When market volatility is pressuring the business, you must be able to rely on these as foundational, as the glue that continues to bond your people through thick and thin, but especially when the business is being challenged. It’s your culture that enables your people to weather adversity and commit to necessary changes. 

Achieving commitment to any change requires the exchange of perspectives, often conflicting ones, to identify the best way forward. Encourage ongoing dialogue about the circumstances impacting the business and your proposed revisions. Systematically resolve differences, soliciting feedback as you proceed. These conversations enable your people to confirm their alignment with one another and with their shared values, strengthening the relationships that are core to your culture and the progress of your business. 

How do you leverage culture and relationships to drive necessary change?

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