Prerequisites for Improving: #1 Changing

Updated: Feb 15, 2020

If you want things to be better than they are now then it is absolutely necessary that things must change. Nobody likes to change. Whether you like it or not, things have already changed and we are behind. We have to change. That is why it is good to know that we are not the first people in this position. There are countless studies that tell a story of a team that did not have a chance to do it all but did it; however, the evidence also tells many more stories of teams that had everything taken away. Fortunately, we can use these events to learn from others and approach change informed and prepared.

When a team can not change fast enough, the competition will use this against them and that team will not survive. What is the consequence? For some, not much. For most, everything. To survive, the change must be executed in a proven manner that increases the odds of survival. Change cannot be expected to take hold unless there is a team committed to making it happen. This team must have a vision that they understand and believe before they begin to take on the challenge of overcoming the power of the status quo.

Vision is a powerful symbol to unite a team. It presents a picture of a future that is superior to the present so there is a desire to change and move forward. It is particularly effective when there is a crisis going on in the organization and an effective vision gives motivation to end the crisis by changing things for the better.

There is no shortage of literature and proven research to back this up. John Kotter's book Leading Change outlines specific steps to take to implement change. Lean Thinking by James Womack and Daniel Jones illustrate how the same steps were taken in a diverse sample of organizations for dramatic and rapid improvement in manufacturing operations. The Toyota Way by Jeffery Liker outlines 14 principles that are the foundation of the company's global culture and the first principle focuses on the long term importance of making the right decisions based on strategic targets (vision).

In addition to the best selling business literature there are countless examples in professional sports when a team is transformed into a contender after the termination and replacement of a manager, coach, or key athlete. When this is combined with unanimous team commitment, organizational depth, and a strong commitment to a common objective the results can be legendary.

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