Tuesday, July 2, 2013

“Architect of Change”: 3 Steps to Growth

Whether you are growing an existing company or starting a new one, change happens…cutting-edge technology, partner/employee transitions, the addition or removal of services and/or products or tectonic economic shifts, just to name a few. It takes skill, attention to detail, and a finger on the world’s pulse to create a blueprint for successful change. Being an architect of change can be a massive undertaking. However, internalizing the 3 steps below will put you on a firm foundation to getting started, staying on top, or just refreshing your memory.

  1. Know where you are headed. 
    Seems obvious, but these words are not always heeded. Don’t cut corners. Plan for both professional and personal outcomes. Define the conditions of satisfaction: growing professionally, making a profit, giving back, having fun, etc. Share these with your team and/or organization, be prepared to stand by them, draw on them to overcome the fear of change, and use them for targeted action.

  2. Evaluate the situation and set the direction.
     Find out what’s working and what isn’t. When urgency is needed, remember, as the leader of change, this is not a democracy. When someone is “Code-Red” you don’t hold a committee meeting to decide whether to give CPR or not, do you? Of course not, so do what needs to be done, make the hard decisions (which can sometimes be unpopular), take responsibility for your actions, and continue to move forward.

  3. Grab the reins and “git movin.”  
    From the boardroom to the mail room, establish direction and vision, cultivate buy-in, and consistently be your team’s guide. Motivate them to believe that the best days are ahead and that there is a goal worth achieving. Remember, that you set the mood. From happy-hour Fridays, a new coat of paint in the break-room, to letting naysayers go, “Whatever it takes” should be your mantra.

Sometimes it can be a lonely experience out in front of the heard, but as the architect of change you are charged with leading your company toward success and that means knowing where you are headed, having a vision, establishing a plan, and sometimes steering through bumpy rides. However, having the satisfaction of accomplishing your goals is, as MasterCard aptly puts it, “priceless.”

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