Can Change Be the Norm?

David Langston Culture Leave a Comment

The pace of business has steadily increased over the last several decades. Today’s leaders are “shooting the rapids” to maintain a competitive edge and sometimes just to keep from running aground.

Too often, a company’s employees are forced to catch up with unexpected new strategic, operational and marketing plans en masse. When that happens, change is a “monster.” Articulating plans is pressurized and disseminating objectives is a monumental task. In 2001 when Change Monster, by Jeanie Duck, was published, the history of corporate change showed us transformations so complex they were indeed monstrous to manage.

My question is this: If employees know the company’s destination or “purpose,” can the culture more readily embrace change, especially on the front lines? Can internal channels be developed that allow teams to identify, adapt and even lead change? If so, the surges of change would be less disconcerting and less likely to swamp organizations. Speed to market would be enhanced.

Digital communication tools that empower teamwork and problem solving are out there, and more are emerging. Most can be customized to fit a specific culture. Even Yammer, Delve and Lync from Office 365 offer simple improvements in real-time concept sharing and teamwork. Bringing cross-functional teamwork alive and making it the norm for adapting to change is where an organization begins. Companies like Intel have social network-like sharing platforms where employees can share the Intel mission and work together in an inspired way.

But…a culture where employees drive change is a bigger idea. We’re talking about a culture hell-bent to change to stay competitive. It is realistic? One of our clients, from the industrial sector yet, seems focused on this ideal. Rain CII, a calciner, plays a key role in producing aluminum. Have a look at this post and video and tell me what you think. http://blogs.raincii.com/culture-performance/challenging-the-norm/

David LangstonCan Change Be the Norm?

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