Driving change forward, back, or not at all


Share on LinkedIn

Over the last month I’ve had a variety of experiences with clients around change within their organization. What’s interesting is that each one of these clients was driving a different type of change and, though different, the changes were critical to the continuing success of each business.

Lets look at the different types of change that occurred.

1. Immediate tactical change. One of the things that impressed me about my client in South Africa is how quickly they will make changes in the core tactics of their business. After spending a day looking at many different facets of their business, Gavin and Larry were making changes before sundown.

What impressed me the most is how they rolled out a new and simpler sales methodology to store managers only days after we discussed it. Many, if not most, companies would have taken months to talk about the proposed change, work on it, perfect it, and then roll it out. Instead, these owners launched the change immediately, and included their managers in the development and changes necessary.

2. Changing back. Change isn’t always about doing something different. Sometimes it means moving back to something that worked in the past that the organization has drifted away from. At a retailer’s holiday meeting last week, the organization spent a considerable amount of time and focus revisiting the basics that made them successful.

It isn’t that this retailer isn’t doing things well, but they had drifted from some of the core principles that differentiated their store experience from their competitors. Sitting in on the CEO’s session even caused me to look at my own decisions.

3. Deciding not to change. Sometimes choosing not to make a change drives change. The best owners and executives I know constantly challenge their own assumptions and ways of doing business. Whenever something happens within their organization, they ask themselves if they should be doing things differently.

I recently worked with the owners of a regional chain who were going through this exact process. Personnel issues led them to review their current approach and consider if, and how, they might benefit from changing that approach. The conclusion was that yes, there were elements that needed to change, but that other elements continue to serve them well and do not need to change. We don’t make change for the sake of change, we makes changes to improve our performance.

As leaders, we’re responsible for driving change. Just remember, sometimes change means moving forward, sometimes back to what made you successful, and sometimes no change at all is the right decision.

So let me ask, are you driving the change necessary to succeed?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Doug Fleener
As the former director of retail for Bose Corporation and an independent retailer himself, Doug has the unique experience and ability to help companies of all sizes. Doug is a retail and customer experience consultant, keynote speaker and a recognized expert worldwide.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here