As we have learned in mega-ways during the past eighteen months, today’s environment requires organizations to be prepared to change quickly to be as effective as possible.
How can organizations prepare themselves to be ready to make sudden changes necessitated by outside factors? That is the topic of a recent article in Harvard Business Review by consultants from Bain & Company. In the article they discuss nine traits and abilities organizations need to develop to be good at change:
1. Purpose. Creates a sense of belonging that guides decisions and inspires action.
2. Direction. Translates purpose into a plan; where you are going and how to get there.
3. Connection. Creates networks of influencers and fans.
4. Capacity. Allows the organization to absorb more change.
5. Choreography. Ability to change priorities and sequencing of action.
6. Scaling. Capacity to amplify impact.
7. Development. Creates learning and more capability to change.
8. Action. A bias for action and a can-do mindset.
9. Flexibility. Allows you to stay out in front of change.
Unfortunately, they don’t explain much about which abilities are most important. (Perhaps you have to hire Bain as a consultant to find out.) But, I would put my money on Purpose and Flexibility.
If you and those you work with have a clear, deep commitment to Purpose as your priority, then – combined with Flexibility – I think it would allow you to “pivot” more quickly to whatever means would best meet your purpose.
The past is littered with organizations that could not change – Kodak, Circuit City, many more – pick your favorite example. The capacity and openness to change has perhaps never been more important. How can you better develop these skills and abilities for your organization?
*Ideas for this blog taken from: Michels, D. & Murphy, K., “How Good is Your Company at Change,” Harvard Business Review, July – August 2021.