Author Jan Rutherford shares the four levers of organizational development to adapt to the drivers of change.
- When my clients are experiencing a difficult time, they often tell me "We have ineffective leaders", or "We're in a tough market", or "We need to lower costs to compete", and it's true that these elements are contributing factors. But the reality, is that these are symptoms. The root cause is more often internal. If you're in the middle of a difficult time, you want to look internally to identify the real issues. I like to call the root cause of difficult times drivers of change. There's four, and I'll talk about each one.
Number one, people. Two, process. Three, rewards, and four, structure. Before we break these down, keep in mind that you want to focus on fixing the system to create an environment where people can do the right thing most of the time with minimal supervision, no matter the threats. The first driver of change, people. First, be crystal clear on expected behaviors, and ensure there are consequences. Catch people doing things right. Make sure the positive feedback is timely specific, and personalized.
Great job doesn't cut it. Conversely, when needed, ensure you have the unpleasant conversation about someone not performing, thereby letting the team down. It doesn't need to be a long conversation, but it should be timely, private, and focused. For people to feel they have been treated fairly, make sure your ratio of positive to constructive feedback is three to one. Adopt the mantra people support what they help create. Next, is process, which can make us more productive and efficient.
It can also be used to drive behavior, especially when the coordination of tasks is critical and the work is of a routine nature. Conversely, think about where process can be eliminated to allow for autonomy and flexibility when it comes to meeting customer needs. Then, we have rewards. Ensure there are real consequences for meeting expectations, and exceeding expectations. This doesn't have to involve compensation. This can be as simple as ensuring people receive some sort of praise and recognition every week.
Also, ensure there are no indirect rewards for failing to meet minimum standards. A casual comment like no worries should be banned from your lexicon because it basically says mediocrity is okay. Finally, the last driver of change, structure. Ensure your structure supports a strategy, not the other way around. Strategy comes before structure always. Resist the urge to reorganize before you've thought through how all levers are interdependent.
These four drivers of change, people, process, rewards, and structure, help you focus on where the opportunities lie in your organization to change the future. Ask yourself, which driver, or drivers, stand out to you most as a root cause of your difficulties. When you identify the root cause systematically, you most definitely will drive productive change.
- Describe how to review past performance.
- List primary features of innovation.
- Distinguish teaming from leading.
- Identify alternative approaches to cost reductions.
- Build self-awareness.
- Adopt a growth mindset.
- Develop a committed team.
- Turn adversity into opportunity.