Last week we discussed funding innovation by re-purposing investment from low to high value-added capabilities. Our focus has moved from revising your vision and plan, to identifying differentiating capabilities, to investing in those capabilities that will enable you to move forward. You need to be prepared to update your plan.
Like a basketball coach — call timeout and switch from playing man-to-man to zone if you need to. Your team is the audience for that timeout because they need to understand the new plan. Many leaders tell me they spend too much time on their personal efforts and not enough time on communicating with key team members on their contribution to the (new) plan. Easy to understand when we have just emerged from a React phase triggered only six weeks ago! It’s stressful on your whole organization to stay in React mode too long, that’s one reason the objective of React is to move out of it.
Organizational change is impacting our ability to execute on our plan, whether it’s due to cash flow or furloughs or changing customer needs. Depending on your industry and culture, your team is more or less resistant to organizational change. In working with PepsiCo, due to the dynamics of their industry, I observed change agility built into their DNA; I observed struggles with other companies in different industries. We build our organizations to deliver value to our customers, and change has the potential to disrupt that value. The length of time you spend executing a change delays the benefits from the plan.
One model I have used depicts three organizational change management needs most companies have to address in any change scenario: the unaware, the unable and the unwilling.
- The unaware just need to be told that the plan has changed, and what their new role is. They are just looking for communication in order to understand how they fit into the new plan.
- The unable lack the skills or knowledge required in their new role. They need training and education to effectively perform their new responsibilities.
- The unwilling is the smallest of the three groups, but they constitute a disproportionate share of time and cost. They have concerns that they want considered and may want you to change your plan. Some in this group will resist no matter what you do, and this will be a leadership challenge for you.
The ability to quickly pivot to an updated plan may make all the difference in its success. Your ability to manage organizational change can create either an accelerator or a constraint on the timeline to regenerating your business.
Update: COVID-Related Loans
As of today we are still awaiting further guidance on rules for forgiveness of PPP loans, and I know many of you are approaching the halfway point of your eight-week spending period. Be sure to check with your bank regarding their approach to certifying your PPP spend; for most of us they will be the arbiter of forgiveness.