Thriving Through Reinvention
We live in a world where a majority of what we know has been discovered in the last 15 years. This information explosion impacts every organization’s ability to effectively do business in today’s and tomorrow’s marketplace.
There is no company – large or small – that can ignore the fact that you can’t continue to do what you’re doing and expect a different result.
To thrive in tomorrow’s marketplace, organizations must become effective in reinventing themselves – over and over again.
I have found five key strategies that must be operationalized for organizations to accomplish this. They are:
1. Defining corporate destiny
2. Clarifying organizational values, vision, mission and goals
3. Leading with authenticity and purpose
4. Effectively managing the change process
5. Balancing priorities
Let me highlight key aspects of these briefly.
1. Defining Corporate Destiny – To be successful, organizations must utilize a proactive rather than reactive approach to creating a preferred future. To accomplish this, organizational leaders must assess future trends and then develop alternative scenarios, and adopt one that best reflects where the organization wants to see itself in ten plus years.
To accomplish this, leaders must ask and answer two key questions:
a. What is going to happen to our organization and our environment in the next 25 years?
b. What do we as an organization want to make happen over this same time period?
2. Clarifying the Organization’s Values, Vision, Mission and Goals – To effectively move to a preferred future, organizations must capably address two key organizational components – the intellectual and the emotional. Most organizations are effective in addressing the former, but dismal in addressing the latter. To do so requires organizational alignment and transparency. This alignment must be supported by employees.
3. Leading with Authenticity and Passion – Key to moving the organization is leadership. To be an effective leader requires followers. People won’t follow unless they believe their leaders: believe in what they are doing; know where they are going; are committed to doing what it takes to get there; and most important of all – understand the need to support followers along the way.
4. Effectively Managing the Change Process – Moving any organization from the old to a new paradigm is hard work. It doesn’t happen without having a roadmap – identifying the steps that need to be taken to guarantee success. Although there are a number of models out there that an organization can pick from, the one I use is one based on the work of John Kotter, a Harvard professor, who has spent his professional career studying organizations that have successfully adapted.
One element that holds true across all models is that a change model – to be effective – must incorporate elements that address both aspects of change: the intellectual (head) and the emotional (heart).
5. Balancing Priorities – Of the five strategies, this is probably the most important, yet often overlooked. As noted earlier, leaders are at the center of moving the organization forward. If the leaders “burn out,” there is a good probability that the change process will flame out.
As David Chinsky has pointed out, leaders must be fit before they can be effective. To assist leaders in becoming fit, David has created an excellent program addressing the four aspects of his model of leadership fitness: clarity, confidence, effectiveness, and vitality.
Bottom Line: Leaders cannot take care of others unless they take care of themselves.
As you continue to focus on realizing your organizational goals, remember there are resources and tools out there that can help you make it happen!
This guest post was written by Dr. Pamela Shaheen, President of the Delta Collaborative (a firm specializing in change management), and an Associate with David Chinsky & Associates.