From my experience, organizations that move most effectively through strategic change cycles have the following characteristics:
First, they have extremely focused goals and a powerful vision which does not allow for business as usual. They can answer the questions, "Where are we going?"; "How are we going to get there?"; and "What's it going to look like?”. They also can answer the question: “Why do we need to work so hard to make these changes at this time period?” Using clear, concise, realistic language that is directly connected to the mission and the vision of the organization, the organizations and their leaders move forward based on clarity.
Second, they are clear about what type of change cycle is being initiated. They are able to determine whether they are looking for incremental evolution or a radical revolution. They are able to make these choices because they have sat down together and reviewed their problems and challenges, understanding which are technical and which are adaptive. Then, based on this information, they are able to discern what are the right paths of action accordingly.
Third, they understand what levels of control and initiative should be taken by all involved. They can explain the risks of not changing, and have prepared for the resistance which is a normal part of any change cycle. They also recognize the importance of accountability and the value of role clarity.
For many organizations right now, the accomplishment of major goals is within sight. Long-standing problems can be solved. True master plans can be created through participation, trust and respect for creativity and diversity.
However, with such looming potential, each person in a leadership position must be willing to learn and grow. This will require personal discipline, commitment, and persistence. In short, what we bring each day to work has the amazing potential to create profound and powerful future experiences.
This week, begin with yourself so you can role model clarity in your professional actions. The energy created by a clear personal perspective, effective communication, teamwork, shared vision, and appropriate autonomy for employees at all levels can result in a new level of strategic action, generating inspiration, fresh commitment and effective performance.