Have You Checked the Temperature?

When was the last time you checked the temperature, the climate, the rhythm, or the flow of your organization? Too many times we all work in a vacuum and operate under the illusion that we are a well- oiled machine and everyone is doing what they’re supposed to do. The truth is the machine needs attention. It may be too oily and things are actually sticky and although units are productive, they are not flowing properly and there’s too much happening in one area and too little in another. Or there’s insufficient oil in other departments. Rigidity and resistance sets in and they’re on the verge of drying out. Have you observed how the team interacts with each other? Some of your key people are overheated, overwhelmed, and are exhausted with the overload. Others are running cold, only concerned about doing just enough for their next paycheck. It’s time to check the temperature. It’s time to reassess.

Quick Check-Up: 5 Ways to know when there’s a need for organizational change

  1. Everyone is going through the motions- there is movement, people know what their roles and responsibilities are, but they don’t understand their value and purpose.

  2. There are sustaining underlying assumptions about what is supposed to be done, but it’s not clear why?

  3. People are settled in their silos- “I don’t know what they’re doing, but this is how I’ve been doing this and there’s nothing wrong.”

  4. Leadership operates with blinders on – it’s easy to ignore the obvious; industry changes are happening externally, yet traditional behaviors dictate status quo is easier to maintain. Internally, the organization is frustrated with the inability to keep up with the demands of customers, stakeholders, and the pressures to produce at a speed greater than they’re equipped to handle. Remember Circuit City?

  5. There’s a divide- the organization’s mission, vision, and values are not aligned with the values of those who are to carry them out. Therefore, everyone and everything are functional misfits. This is not always easy to detect.

Begin the Transitional Shift for Transformational Change: 5 Steps to Start

  1. Shift begins with the leader- every organizational change begins with the leader’s initiation.

  2. Mindset alteration- the leader must first examine herself. Self- assessment, and self-awareness are leadership behaviors that require frequent examination. These traits are common in authentic and transformational leaders. We must check ourselves to ensure we have not deviated from the strategic intent and direction of the organization.

  3. Observation- leaders must begin to pay attention to the behavior of staff, department heads, each line of business, shareholder engagement, supply chain relationships, and every aspect of operations. Identifying what is working well, and what isn’t directly plays a role in the health of the organization's culture. Frequently reassuring and encouraging your team when they are on track, but guiding them back when they aren’t is critical.

  4. Communication- people need to be reminded of why they are doing what they’re doing otherwise they’ll fill in the gaps; assuming they understand or behaving as if they don’t care. Repeated communication of the strategy and how it is tied to the mission, vision, and core values of the organization must come from the leader. Also, keep your team engaged in decisions that are made and how it will impact what they do. Solicit feedback. Show them and tell them how valuable they are to the purpose of the organization.

  5. Recognize you may need a drastic change now or you’ll be out of business tomorrow- you may be conveying a clear message about the vision and direction of the organization. Your team might be fully engaged, but the organization is still unable to perform at the expected level to produce the needed outcomes. A major overhaul is needed and this task can be too daunting or you simply don’t want to do it. Perhaps it’s a good time to enlist a neutral party, a consultant, to help you design a strategy for transformational change. Change takes time and it’s never easy, but worth the investment for the future of your organization.

Live 4 Change, LLC have metrics and tools to analyze organizational change issues.We help you, the leader, and your organization through strategies, structure, and systems to enhance performance through embracing sustainability practices that drive transformational and sustainable solutions.

I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below or email me

@ e.michellemickens@live4changellc.com.

You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, and Periscope. My handle is @ Live 4 Change, LLC.

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