Recently I was talking to a client about the changes we had agreed to make in his organization including adding new positions, altering existing responsibilities, and improving processes and productivity. The company had been operating essentially the same way for 35 years, relying heavily on senior people for decision making. As we implement new process and productivity improvements patterned after Lean Manufacturing, it will push decision making down in the organization for the first time. I asked my client if he and the senior team were really ready for that. Have they really signed on to the changes they say they want?
Preparing for Change
I asked because the result of our work will be a significant shift in culture. My client really wants that, and the changes will help allow him to do things outside of work that he wants to do. Companies need to prepare themselves for a change in culture. If even one senior team member resists the effort, the employees will see the hesitation and lose the excitement of the initiative. Often, that will kill the process and everything will continue as it has in the past. That would be an opportunity lost.
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