“We don’t need to be exceptional, just OK.”
When running a health check on a transformational change programme recently, this was the hidden strapline guiding the principles on which to execute the biggest change programme in 15 years.
“How is your customer service?” … “it’s OK.”
“How is your leadership? … “it’s OK.”
“How will you survive in this ever increasing competitive environment with exciting players stealing market share and making huge fortunes?” … “er, I hope we’ll be OK.”
Where’s the inspiration to change anything?
Setting up a successful change programme isn’t just about just following the works of revered authors such as Kotter and ticking the box. It’s about bringing the theory to life with practical everyday tips that people can see, hear and feel – to take action and ultimately do something different.
What would make you do something different in your daily life? What would be a compelling reason to make a change?
You keep meaning to go to the gym but just can’t ‘find’ the time. If the Doctor says you will only have 5 years to live if you don’t, you will certainly ‘make’ the time.
If there isn’t a compelling reason to change, then you probably don’t need to run a ‘transformation’ programme, just some improvement initiatives that could be delivered through the line.
However, in business, the need for significant change can often be a metaphorical life and death choice, particularly with the speed at which competition can come out of no-where.
Make change personal to your people
If you do recognise the need for transformation, make sure you have a compelling reason to change and make it personal to your people.
Remember that “transformation” is, by its very nature, striving to be something different, something more, something exceptional.
We believe that people want to be better and will always surprise you at finding creative ways to do this.
Look ahead to exceptional
Don’t look at transformation as a challenge to drag people to a place they don’t want to go. Instead see it as freeing them from the shackles and constraints of “OK”, and giving them the freedom to become exceptional.