Implementing the Pace of Change in Business
by Hal Levenson on Sep 9, 2020 2:05 PM
Let’s examine implementing the pace of change in business. I recently found a quote by the late management guru, Peter Drucker, that read: “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence—it is to act with yesterday’s logic.”
As I think back on 2020, this statement could not be truer. Forced into turbulence by a global pandemic, businesses had to adapt – we could not act with yesterday’s logic and had to pivot quickly.
However, under normal circumstances, as suggested in my recent articles, Setting the Pace of Change and Determining the Pace of Change, there are factors that impact strategic decisions. In this article, I share a word of caution, even when changes are thoughtfully identified, plans are rarely implemented perfectly.
The best plan will incorporate some flexibility to deal with issues such as internal processes, market dynamics, or emotional resistance. Lack of structure can jeopardize the entire change initiative. On the other hand, excessive structure can be too confining to succeed.
Leaders charged with implementation will need to be sensitive to assess how employees are adjusting and moving the process forward. They may find it necessary to accelerate or slow down the determined pace of change temporarily. Some critical guiding principles for leaders include:
- the need for trusted and skilled people throughout the organization to keep their finger on the pulse of team. These people need to be able to recognize self-protective behaviors, false enthusiasm or comfort levels, fears, and anger.
- good sonar and radar systems to help them identify things hiding below the surface and threats that could blindside them.
- the confidence to question and challenge all assumptions about information they receive, depending upon trusted team members to perform due diligence and push the perceived limits.
Remembering that there is no single pace for change in an organization is necessary. This empowers leaders to make mid-course adjustments and process changes to keep moving in the same direction.
The important factor in implementing the pace of change is getting everyone to the desired destination at the same time without losing key people, skills, and knowledge along the way.
About Hal Levenson
Hal Levenson is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer at Trilogy Partners. Trilogy Partners is an advisory & implementation firm whose mission is to help companies grow and transform. We accomplish this by focusing on 3 critical business areas: Financial, Strategy & People.