People, by nature, generally don’t do well with sudden changes. Effective change, whether it be an adjustment to our personal fitness, lifestyle or otherwise, is a process that best occurs gradually. Moreover, in order to make transformative changes, it takes a firm commitment to our objective and willingness to continuously push ourselves toward improvement; if we can commit individually, we succeed. Weight loss, behavior, clarity of mind, better relationships are all possible.
Transformative change within your organization is no different it requires “real deal” work.
Often times in our work with clients, whether it be an individual, a small workforce or a large organization, they expect a single answer, event, “to-do,” session of coaching to deliver permanent, everlasting changes, a so-called “silver bullet”. While this is possible it is not probable, rarely does an individual blossom almost instantaneously during their first session. The initial results of coaching are often dramatic and eye-opening in their own right, but for many individuals and organizations in particular, the first coaching session is the initial stepping stone to a transformative process or journey that takes time, patience and dedication.
Individuals can change more quickly and usually will change more rapidly than an organization. As a result, it is our philosophy that an organizational change start with its individuals, one at a time, and eventually those kernels can spur an entire organization toward positive change.
The research from a recent McKinsey Global Survey, which compiled years of research on organizational transformations, found that only 26 percent of participants noted that their organization’s initiatives were very or completely successful at both improving performance and equipping the organization to sustain improvements over time. However, the study also found organizations that took a rigorous, action-oriented approach to their transformative initiatives reported a 79 percent success rate —three times the initial average for all transformations. Simply put, the more work an organization puts into its transformative initiatives, the more it stands to gain from its efforts.
From an organizational perspective, there is no singular individual action that will command results, it is instead a combination of approaches that start with individuals first and include communicating effectively, displaying active leadership and above all, creating an environment of continuous improvement.
By motivating individuals to change first and developing a standard that calls for steady improvement, organizations prevent performance from stagnating or even regressing, once the initial transformative goals are met. Furthermore, organizations that implemented continuous-improvement activities saw their chances of successfully sustaining progress post-transformation effectively double, according to the McKinsey survey.
It is important to remember that this individually based standard of continuous improvement not only applies to employees, but leadership as well. The same McKinsey survey concluded that when senior leaders served as individual role models for the behavior changes they’re asking employees to make, transformations are five times more likely to be successful. Moreover, it is also important that employees understand how their individual efforts support the company’s broader vision and when that link is reinforced with a company-wide commitment to identifying opportunities for improvement, the chances for transformative success increase tenfold. Transformation is hard work and starts with the individual. In order for changes to be sustainable, there must be a steady personal or individual commitment to improvement. As an organization, this commitment must begin individually and include a collective focus. When attempting to make an organizational transformation, the relationship between communication and improvement cannot be underestimated. By continuously engaging your employees and highlighting their progress and success, the commitment to improvement will remain top of mind across the organization, helping garner lasting transformational changes. By taking rigorous action, lasting transformational changes can be achieved, but only if you and your organization are willing to continuously strive for improvement based on the individual.
About Dan Negroni:
Dan is the founder and CEO of Launchbox, an organization that specializes in helping Millennials and their employers break through communication barriers to develop productive relationships that optimize the best changes for individual and mutual success. Dan works a coach, consultant, facilitator and keynote speaker for today’s critical cross-generational issues, bridging the gap between managers and their Millennial workforce to increase employee engagement, productivity and profits. Dan leverages his authentic, no-nonsense approach and a successful 20+ year career as a CEO, attorney, senior sales and marketing executive, to reinvigorate businesses and people.