There’s a new buzzphrase emerging in academia with regards to companies – change power. Does your company have change power? Throughout the last year and a half, we’ve all endured massive and dramatic change. Some change was for the good, some not. Changes happened everywhere. Our business, our personal lives, our client’s businesses, their personal lives – every person and every industry has navigated change in the last 18 months and continues to do so. The question is, how well did we do?
Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB
A recent article in Harvard Business Review, How Good Is Your Company At Change, identified four types of business archetypes for dealing with change:
1. In search of focus – This archetype describes 37% of the companies reviewed. Their strength is their energy. They’re beehives of activity and have had many successes. They’re constantly innovating, and their people have the capacity to take on a lot.
2. Stuck and skeptical – Of the companies reviewed, 20% fit this archetype. They have good ideas and a history of success, but too much of their change gets stuck at the local level. They tend to underestimate the full scope of what they have taken on.
3. Aligned but constrained – This archetype applies to 24% of companies, which share important strengths: Their employees work well as a unit, have locked arms and are headed in the same direction. Early success heightened their expectations, and now they find themselves pushing against hard constraints.
4. Struggling to keep up – Among the companies reviewed, 19% fit this archetype. They’re like teams of cyclists in the Tour de France, battling a grueling race of many stages. Each day, the riders must adjust to changing terrain, unpredictable weather and the strategies of their competitors.
I’ve heard some suggest that the pandemic was an accelerator when it came to business. This means those that were in trouble went out of business faster and those that were doing well did better. The pandemic and all its challenges simply accelerated those issues – both good and bad. Companies who adapted to change and demonstrated change power did better than those that did not.
We often suggest that salespeople are operating their own business. So, in addition to looking at the company you work for, look at how you conduct your personal business and identify areas where your change power can be improved. Do you have a system in place for making decisions, assessing risk and providing some stability for yourself and your clients in a world that seems to lack stability and consistency? These are not easy questions. Without trying to be dramatic, your future depends on finding the answers, developing the systems and becoming proficient at adapting to and managing change. Tomorrow, we’ll get you started with the Nine Elements of Change Power.
Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at Jeff.Schmidt@RAB.com. You can also connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.