Conspicuous by my absence

I have not been writing on my blog much lately because frankly, I did not have a whole lot to say. You can expect in the new year, I will be posting more often…citing advice, client experiences and general opinions for your reading pleasure.

I wish you all a happy new year and a prosperous 2011!!!

PS. If you are looking for a good book on implementing successful change, try Switch by Dan and Chip Heath.

Accelerating Change

70% of change management initiatives fail…not because the effort is not there, but because the effort is being put in the wrong place. Companies take the approach that change is necessary to fix existing problems, but this is not the case. Change is meant to improve something and create innovation. The reason that so many change initiatives fail is because change is not seen as a way to improve the performance of a company. It is merely seen as the 'soft' side of getting people to do things.
 
We need to change our mindsets when we embark on a change initiative. Successful change can lead to employee empowerment, which leads to a collaborative culture, which leads to improved performance for the company. When employees are empowered to make decisions, they come to work each day asking "How can I make this a better place?" They look for ways to improve the way the business operates and treats its customers. Imagine a workplace like that, where everyone is engaged and making the company better.
 
It is not so difficult to achieve. McDonald's has been great  at this, even with its size and huge number of employees. Every time you enter a McDonald's restaurant the service is friendly, the food is made quickly and the restaurant is clean, including the washrooms. Employees are joking around behind the counter and seem to be generally having fun. If you have an issue with your order, the cashier does not need to ask three managers to resolve it. The cashier is empowered to make a decision on the spot to best serve the customer.
 
You want to know how change can be accelerated? Look at what McDonald's does:  it empowers employees to make decisions that make the customer experience better; it creates a workplace and an organization that employees can be proud of; and it provides personal and professional development opportunities so that employees can improve their skills. The employees want to keep the restaurant clean and the customers happy because it makes them feel proud, not because someone told them to do it. That is how you accelerate successful change.