Preparing your team for change
Sitting at a café in Vancouver sipping his latte, the entrepreneur explained to me how his business in Alberta was bringing in the money for his trendy lifestyle. People working in the oil and gas industry had money to spend on his services. This meant he could charge a premium and enjoy a higher return on investments. The added bonus was the lower start-up cost in Alberta as compared to locating his business in the lower mainland of British Columbia.
A year later the entrepreneur was taking steps to reduce operating cost in Alberta where the economic reality compelled him to reduce his price. This he did while beginning to explore for opportunities closer to home.
The old adage of not putting all your eggs in one basket still holds today. Preparing for change begins when we first launch into a new business area.
Clarify Change Issues
Before we begin on any business venture we should perform a “SWOT” analysis to evaluate our business strengths and weaknesses as well as the market opportunities and threats.
By crunching the numbers on hard data and sharing the analysis with our team, we can get them thinking of alternative, “what if” scenarios. The reality of business is, the economy goes through cycles and market expectation change with time.
For a business to sustain high growth a culture of open conversation on how to respond to change needs to be maintained with our team members.
Assess Change Readiness
In our knowledge driven world it is vital for team members to always be reading, listening and learning so new ideas and fresh approaches can be incorporated rapidly in response to change in the market.
A diverse team of specialist can give different insights so a more coherent and positive response to change can be planned.
Change readiness requires accepting a diversity of views from individuals from different areas of specialisation. What transforms a diverse group of individuals into an effective team is the acceptance by all of the shared values and vision of the business.
Shared values and vision can drive a team towards identifying opportunities that lead to business success.
Driving versus Restraining forces
The main source of profit for most businesses comes from a core competency. For a hardware company to shift towards becoming a software application provider requires a fundamental shift in mindset from being a product sales business towards a service provider.
A business leader I know understands how a warehouse full of physical products was worth the millions of dollars valued by the accountant. But he found it difficult to understand how a business with E-books on a remote server could be worth millions of dollars.
The reality that we may have to learn new ways of valuing things can be a restraining force. To overcome restraining forces and to drive change we need to encourage a diversity of thought within our team.
A top down imposition of change can result in resistance to change. We should encourage challenges to the status quo. Encourage team members to discuss and debate fresh ideas and new approaches. This will encourage a rapid positive response to change for sustained high growth.
International Business Consultant
Reboot your business plan for sustained high growth
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