Every Sales Growth Program we implement for every new client is about implementing change.
Why? What goes down comes back up!
Most people are skeptical at first, and some are downright resistant to anything that disrupts the status quo at work. After they experience the benefits of implementing change, amazing results get produced. I refer to this as the “J Curve” phenomena.
The J Curve states that the initial rate of return will be low until the value of the program takes effect. Then the rate of return, or ROI, will increase significantly.
The key is to manage the initial downturn effectively. This invariably happens when implementing something like a new CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system, or a Sales Growth Program.
What I Learned About Implementing Change at a Workshop
We were working recently in Chicago with a new client’s leadership team. It was a two-day workshop. It was fascinating to see how they navigated through their own discomfort when dealing with their new roles. At first, they wanted us to spell out their duties and simply tell them what they needed to do. It was hard to not just spoon-feed a recipe for change. But it doesn’t work that way. Implementing change in our program is more about asking important questions and discovering acceptable answers.
As the process unfolded, people collaborated more and more and leaders emerged. Introducing change was done as carefully as possible with a high degree of sensitivity. As one of the facilitators, these participants gave me an opportunity to discover how to do a better job for the following workshop. I learned an enormous amount from this group about implementing change.
Working as a Team Makes Implementing Change Easier Than Working Alone
As people worked together during the workshop, they helped each other see things they might have missed individually. Implementing change was more successful because it was done as a shared exercise. Concerns were identified and dealt with immediately, for and by the team.
Leaders Must Participate
As a leader, the CEO did a masterful job of letting everyone go through his or her discovery. She did it patiently. She translated several of the concepts we were putting on the table so everyone on her team could understand them. I was also grateful that she was an active participant throughout the process. When leaders participate, everyone’s participation improves.
Straight and Specific Feedback Helps to Implement Change
At the end of day one, we asked for feedback. And we got it!
It wasn’t all hunky-dory. Some of the comments included, “we got derailed several times with too many side-bar discussions that didn’t add value.” And, “I didn’t understand some of the examples you gave about how we should implement accountability.” And, “your suggestions for the types of checklist we implement don’t fit our culture.”
We discovered that this was a representation of a culture that has been trained on giving honest and clear feedback. It made our job of adapting our approach to fit the client’s needs much easier.
You’ve heard it before that the only constant is change. The question on my mind is:
How willing are people to collaborate and lead each other to make implementing change a success?
Here is a summary of the key points this article makes when implementing change in your organization:
- Things often get worse before they get much better
- Asking good questions and discovering answers is more important than being told what to do
- Leaders discover how to lead better
- Sharing concerns and working as a team speeds up the process
- Leaders should participate actively in the change process
- Honest and constructive feedback helps to make the best fit
I hope you find value in this article as you implement new change this year.
If you’re looking to motivate your team, and discover ways that change can create new opportunities, please join us for our upcoming webinar: 7 Ways Change is an Opportunity. Click here or on the image below to get signed up!