The Leadership Challenges of Change, Transition and Transformation

Strategies for Leading a High Performance Organization The Leadership Challenges of Change, Transition and Transformation By Bob Moore, CMC The Effectiveness Guy Work Count:  668 Words Reading Time:  Less Than 3.3 Minutes The current business environment requires even the most conservative, risk-adverse organizations not only to change, they must become different. There are major structural shifts in the economy, the continuous introduction of disruptive technologies, and the emergence of a new relationship between all stakeholders.  These realities are affecting every market segment including government, high tech/IT, financial services and health care. In addition to the shifts in manufacturing over the past 20 years, government agencies are beginning to discover that citizens demand the same level of service and ROI as from the private sector—just as other stakeholders. High Tech and IT firms no longer have the luxury of unlimited access to capital to pursue innovative discoveries. The marketplace now demands a higher level of quality and more responsive service at the  lowest possible cost, which has placed increased emphasis on speed to market and getting it right the first time.   Consider the plight of professional service firms:  legal, financial and medical/dental practices.  The changes in how business operates today are dramatically different than just a few short years ago.  Any enterprise that has been in business for any length of time may be overdue for a close look at how they are structured and staffed. All organizations are facing the mismatch between those staffed as a pre-millennial enterprise and post-millennial customer demands. Organizations that have resisted transformation are at serious risk of losing market share to organizations that have adapted and are better able to survive and thrive in the post-millennial world. Pre-millennial organizations typically put off change far too long and may ignore the need for transformation until the pain and chaos become so great they are forced to act. Government agencies fall prey to this phenomenon and the result is fragmented stakeholder support, declining revenues, and the risk of having their functions transferred to private sector organizations. Private sector firms tend to postpone timely transformation because they are typically focused on short-term, bottom line results and may ignore the early warning signs. Eventually, every enterprise reaches “break-point”, where they have over extended their current strategy and go into decline —IBM is a classic example.  Unless an enterprise has very deep pockets and brings in a turn-around-type CEO who will make the tough decisions, they will likely be taken over by another firm or cease operations. For the small to mid-side enterprise, it may simply mean limited profitability and reduced earnings and ROI for the primary stakeholders. While the techniques will vary depending on the type of organization, here are three principles that apply in most situations and actions that you can take immediately:
  1. Role Clarity:  Define every key function and establish the accountabilities of the role—what an incumbent is expected to accomplish. Most jobs today have changed over time, particularly with reductions in workforce and consolidation of roles and responsibilities.
  2. Empowerment and Full Engagement:  Accountability must extend to more than one level of authority and power must be dispersed through the organization. The Gallop research continues to reveal very high levels of employee disengagement.  Low levels of engagement must improve for any organization to survive in this challenging economic period. Full employment is a long way in the future. In the meantime, all employees must be focused on fulfilling the accountabilities of their job.
  3. Top Talent: Be clear on the talent requirements of the job and align them with the available talent within the organization.  There will always be a gap even when hiring from the outside. Thus, it is important to establish a developmental process and equip managers to become effective coaches. Use an effective selection process to identify “good people” who can be turned into top talent, beginning with on-boarding on day one.
Finally, every organization must periodically do a survey to measure the factors that influence effectiveness. Consider using the Organizational Health Checkup. Click here to learn more I encourage you to take the challenge and stay ahead of the renewal curve—just do it before the need to do so becomes obvious. Enthusiastically, Bob Bob Moore, CMC®*, The Effectiveness Guy™ Check out The Effectiveness Coach® System for making 2012 Your Best Year Ever Visit the Effectiveness Connection Communities at Contact: Raleigh, NC: 919-439-5811 Toll Free: 888-669-3923 *The CMC®, Certified Management Consultant,(TM) is a designation awarded by the Institute of Management Consultants for meeting international standards of consulting and adherence to the ethical canons of the profession awarded to less than 1% of all  management consultants. © Copyright 2012, Effectiveness, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.        

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