Ready for a Change?
“In a few hundred years, when the history of our time will be written from a long-term perspective, it is likely that the most important event historians will see is not technology, not the internet, not e-commerce. It is an unprecedented change in the human condition. For the first time, literally, substantial and rapidly growing numbers of people have choices. And for the first time, they will have to manage themselves, and society is totally unprepared for it.”
I bet you’re like me. Unaware, this quote is more than twenty years old, straight from the pen of Peter Drucker. Yet his observation pretty much sums up our world right now, doesn’t it? COVID was, is and will have an unprecedented change. And we all have choices.
Many of us have moaned over the years, “When is this ever going to get better?” ‘How can I improve things around here?’ “Why am I the only one who sees this as a massive priority?” We have been frustrated at so many things and felt we could do “ìt“ better if only …
Not one of us can argue our pleas and prayers were not heard this past year! “It“ is here. And your 2022 brims with opportunity because the old rules are disintegrating at sonic speed; the old norms no longer apply. Leaders and business owners everywhere can make a choice. To step up, step in, manage themselves, their teams, departments, divisions and businesses. Better.
The question is –are you ready?
If you learned, have used or still believe in the change management 101 approach, you will want to do some form of the following:
1. Define where you are now and take an honest inventory of it all.
2. Set a goal/vision/dream of where you want to go and map out short- and long-term guideposts.
3. Sketch out the gap between today’s reality and tomorrow’s hopes. Then, define many actions to fill that gap or drive things to the end vision.
4. Assign a whack of measurables to those actions to help you monitor your progress.
5. Begin to execute.
This is what the professionals profess, how the leaders lead, and in the end, the workers work. It’s been done like this forever. Yet did you know this approach has a success rate of 20%? Just twenty percent! According to McKinsey, change management programs rarely succeed based on decades of research. Somewhere around 80% fail. But then you and I intuitively believed that, based on our own experiences, didn’t we?
The biggest issue the pandemic split wide open
was the vast, mainly ignored, ‘non-issue’ in most businesses. That technology and people have never really been in the top five priorities for most businesses. The areas of technology and people have been starved of good strategies, adequate funding and positive direction. That technology and people always get outranked and outplayed by sales and marketing efforts drives for more productivity and an endless chase on the proverbial hamster wheel for more bottom-line profits.
COVID was the catalyst (or massive shakeup) for us to see that the traditional ways of managing these two areas were dreadfully wrong. That the old ways of thinking were no longer relevant. In fact, the most successful businesses did well and stayed strong because they had already embraced, invested and protected their technology and had already doubled down on engaging, empowering and trusting their people.
It is time for more leaders to summon the strength to change the trajectory of their businesses. It is long past time for a new approach to enable that success. (Success coming to more than 80% of those who try.) It is no longer about doing, making or producing for the benefit of a few. It is time for something different. Are you up for it?