Change Management: How Your Leadership Can Separate Business Symptoms from Problems
To build a business demands that the leadership know how to separate the symptoms from the problems to drive the needed organizational change. Unfortunately, many small business owners, entrepreneurs and executives due to poor communication and no strategic plan create expensive silo solutions that actually diminish the energy and ability to achieve organizational goals.
In the book "Fail-Safe Leadership" by Linda Martin and Dr. David Mutchler, the authors address some of the change management challenges every organization faces on a daily basis regardless of size through a simple leadership audit. This audit or organizational survey allows the decision-makers to begin that separation of symptoms from problems and recognizes that these issues are due to leadership issues within the organization.
The good news is that you can construct your own survey. First, identify the basic general shareholders within any organization. These may be separated as follows:
Customer Service Employees
Support and Technology Employees
Management & Supervision
Place these as separate columns across the sheet of paper leaving the far left column for the common management change issues.
Then begin to list the changes issues facing your organization in the far left column. These may include the following, but are not limited to just these issues:
Can't do attitudes
Consensus driven decision making
Disconnect between training and results
Duplicate work efforts
High waste of resources, time or energy
Inconsistent goal achievement
Inconsistent quality work
Limited diversity of thought (no out of the box thinking)
Missed results consistently
No alignment of efforts
No or limited motivation
Reactive vs proactive thinking
Now review each change issue and place a check mark in the box if it is an issue for that specific group. Quickly, you will see where you need to plan and execute aligned solutions.
For example, if the accountability change issue is only being experienced by the customer service employees then a solution focusing only on this group of shareholders makes sense. However, if at least two or more of the shareholders are experiencing accountability issues, then the solution must address all involved if the organization truly desires to reach the desired end results.
By recognizing up front that the solution must meet all the involved shareholders prevents the common "silo-solution" that appears to breed additional silo solutions. Organizations must have aligned and coordinated efforts. Silo solutions are just the opposite.
Why this audit is called a leadership audit is because leadership must be the vehicle that drives the change in the organization. Hence, it is leadership's responsibility to conduct the audit. Usually after conducting this simple assessment, the executive leadership team may determine that a full organizational assessment is required. Implementing such an assessment should be
Aligned to a national quality criteria such as Baldrige
Documented for a proven history (reliable and valid)
Representative of all levels within the organization
Verified with one on one face to face interviews
P.S. If you find numerous check marks within your leadership audit, this does not mean that you have poor leadership, but rather some gaps in your leadership. Now is the time to close those gaps so that you can reach that next level of success.