21 August 2019
If you know that something has to change in your business, but you don’t know where to start, this is for you.
There are times when all of us can sense that something needs to change but we can’t exactly point out the problem. There are also times when we know where the pain is in our organization but we can’t always determine if it’s a symptom or the root cause of the issues we’re facing.
These are critical moments. Left unchecked, these issues can create long-term damage to the future success of the organization or leave you in turmoil as you work to put out each fire—one after the other.
Done well, these are moments of powerful learning for the organization. Not only can you course correct, but you can gain insights that will strengthen your operations well into the future.
What will determine which path you ultimately find yourself on is your ability to accurately understand what exactly is happening and the quality of the action plan you put in place.
Change Isn’t the Same as Hustle
The mistake many leaders make when they begin to identify pain or dysfunction in their organization is to take action immediately.
This may sound counter-intuitive in a world that seems to be praising the “take action”, “get hustling”, “stick-to-it-no-matter-what” approaches above almost all else. There’s a place for action, there’s a time to hustle, and perseverance is an essential element of success, but sophisticated leaders realize there’s more to it than that.
Action, hustle, and perseverance are only useful if they’re focused on the right things. If they’re focused on the wrong things—or worse, not focused at all—they simply add to the noise, confusion, and pain.
What’s Actually Happening in Your Organization?
Step one is to get clear on what exactly is happening, and there are two parts to this. The first is what’s happening at a functional level in your organization. You need to assess what’s working and what’s not. Once you have a picture of what’s happening, you can start to identify why things are working that way.
For example, you may find that you’re running into issues when it comes to serving your clients at the standards you have set for yourself. But before you start blaming staff for not creating “Wow Experiences” for your clients, there are a number of questions you need to answer.
Have your staff been trained properly? Are they in the right roles? Are you hiring the right people (and how do you know)? Are you collecting feedback in a consistent manner? Are there cultural issues in the organization? Is your team clear on your Mission? Vision? Values?
You see, locating the problem is important but diagnosing the cause—let alone the actions required to put things right—is something altogether more important.
One of the most powerful tools we use to understand how an organization is performance is the Rhapsody Business Assessment.
What’s Your Role in This?
Step two gets a lot more personal.
As a leader, your organization reflects who you are and how you operate. Let that sink in for a minute. All your genius, your insight, your energy, and your commitment. All your limitations, your barriers, and your blind spots.
As you work on the functional performance of your organization, you also need to work on your personal performance—how you communicate, how you execute, and how you lead.
Ultimately, we need to find how we align with the business and sometimes that means evolving our growth as leaders. It means letting go of some practices and embracing new ones. It means letting go of some ways of thinking and embracing others.
We use some powerful and very pragmatic psychometrics when we’re doing this work with our clients, that cut through the fog and help to reveal who you are and how you lead. From that, you can make countless choices about how you want to continue to transform. You’ll be able to lead more effectively, navigate relationships with more success, and galvanize the actions of your team with confidence.
Clarity Leads to Meaningful Change
Without clarity about what’s happening in the business or how you’re leading, it’s almost impossible to create a meaningful action plan. If it happens at all it will be by accident, so you won’t be able to repeat it and the organization will not have grown as a result.
But with clarity, your priorities will start to reveal themselves—often quite easily—and translating those priorities into action that can be implemented immediately becomes a straightforward exercise in itself.
At the heart of this is the courage to slow down and take the time to understand what’s actually happening in the organization before swinging into action. That courage is what separates sophisticated leaders from those who continue to struggle.
If you know that changes are required — for your organization or for yourself — the single fastest way to get started is with our JumpStart Program. It will give you all the information you need to make the decisions that are needed. Take a look.