January is the only time in the year when I’m unable to book the classes I love at my gym. I know that it’s temporary because many of the additional people booking in will have run out of willpower in a few days. Things will revert to normal soon.
Clearly most people cannot change ingrained habits they’ve acquired over a lifetime in a few days. The quieter atmosphere in the gym or the bottle of wine on a Friday provides the proof.
Running a business is full of ups and downs, some of which can be anticipated and contingencies put in place. Other changes come unexpectedly ‘out of the blue’. When you’re the boss, not only are you responsible for smoothing the course of the business for yourself but your leadership determines the culture for everyone in your team. Because most people instinctively avoid change and revert to old habits as soon as possible, a leader who wants to permanently change business culture needs to work on this over a longer period.
First, a leader needs to have the right attitude – one that accepts that new ideas or new ways of working may not work immediately but require review and refinement to perfect. A culture where your team are not permitted to make and learn from mistakes is one that will stifle change. People will be fearful of stepping outside their usual comfort zone. Encouraging staff to take the initiative in a controlled environment will, over time, build their confidence in the organisation to implement change successfully.
Secondly, having a framework or a systematic approach to change through good project management will encourage an organisation to evolve in a measured way. Change is planned. Reviewing and reflecting on what worked or didn’t work as anticipated will help a team to get used to the idea of change and allow the team to voice concerns in a safe environment.
Thirdly, using the same project management tools and techniques will bring an element of familiarity. Getting your team used to implementing things differently on a regular basis will increase their project management skills and, in time, their confidence in dealing with new situations and challenges.
Much of the work we do with our clients encourages them to explore new ways of working to deliver better sales and increase profitability. This could be through launching new products, changing the way they sell their products or changing their internal sales and marketing processes. If your business is ‘stuck’ and your 2017 marketing plan consists of the activities you’ve done for several years, why not take advantage of a review with us?
Good luck with the New Year resolutions!