How to get off the hamster wheel
Today’s article will explore part 3 of the successful model for change – Implementation. Below is a reminder of the model I use when helping aid change in organisations and the foundation for this series of articles.
If this is the first article you have read in this series, I highly recommend going back to read part 1 and part 2. The reason being is that too many companies start here in implementation and this is the reason why change fails and is not sustained.
How to know if you’re a business or leader who heads straight to implementation:
- You have been trying to find a solution to a fix a problem for years, yet year on year the same issues keep arising
- Your team are fed up of trying new ways of working as they do not believe the change will stick – so what’s the point of trying
- You use language like ‘we need to get this done’, ‘we need to do this faster’, ‘just make it happen’.
This level of thinking is why so many businesses get caught up in the hamster wheel of ‘doing’ and why ‘doing’ doesn’t create lasting results.
How does this affect businesses in the long term:
- Money lost on projects that do not have a chance of succeeding
- A lack of trust amongst the team and a belief that change isn’t possible
- Loss of good employees
- A culture of frustration, exhaustion and blame
- Client dissatisfaction
Valuing the time spent in Environmental (part 1) and Structural (part 2) thinking is what is going to set you up for success for all your change initiatives – large and small.
How implementation works effectively
So, you have created your vision, goals, standards, aligned on your beliefs as a team, you have your categories, benchmarks and a roadmap to success and now implementation is what actually makes these things happen.
Start by looking at what is happening now in your business and what new actions need to be introduced following the work you have completed in Environment and Structure.
The actions to begin focusing on are:
- Decision making
- Short term and long term thinking
- How you do things
- What you focus on
If you have agreed your standards for decision making is to keep the leadership team informed so they can be united but current standards are that the leaders say one thing and do another…then this is an action that needs to change.
You need to identify what you ‘do’ as an organisation.
Here are some key questions to ask:
- How do the team make decisions?
- How well do they plan projects?
- How well do they action a project?
- Do they complete what they start?
- Do they live the values they say they do?
Question 5 really starts to highlight the difference between what people say they do, versus what they actually do.
It’s your role as a leader to uncover these gaps and discover what is missing that is causing this behaviour.
The final step is to identify the balance of short term and long term thinking within the team.
Are people thinking short term and doing work that is needed now and to solve the problems of today, or are they able to see the bigger picture that their actions ladder up to?
People tend to be stronger in one of these areas. It’s quite unusual to be strong in both and this is normally a learned behaviour that comes with experience.
Identifying your team’s strengths in both short and long term thinking will impact how they ‘do’ and the success you can achieve as a team and organisation.
I hope I’ve been able to demonstrate that jumping to implementation and ‘doing’ is risky business and the reason why so many companies fail to make even the simplest of changes work.
It really does start with awareness and taking a step back to view the bigger picture. You have to understand what the first step looks like before you take the first step.
The time is now to stop being a leader that just has a team ‘doing’ lots of stuff. Don’t make being ‘busy’ a benchmark for productivity. It is a false assumption that busy means progress.
It’s time to get off the hamster wheel and be a leader who can elevate your teams thinking to set them up for success. You can be a leader of the future who creates high performers who innovate and drive sustainable business results.
I have created a very simple pdf guide that takes you through this exact process and a case study to show the power of the thinking and it is currently available for FREE from my website. Grab your copy here.
If you would like know more about how I can bring this model to life within your organisation please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Joanna Howes is an international award-winning high performance coach and bestselling author based in London. She’s been featured on NBC, FOX and MSP News Global. If you want to lose the limits that are holding you back, book in for a free introductory call right here.