Hands up if you've worked in this complex! One of my favourite spots downtown... image credit: Alexander Demyanenko via Shutterstock
Imagine that we're back in the fall of 2018: The leaves are changing colour, a brisk Autumn wind blows and the light is golden from a warm but waning sun. The kids are all safely in school and you are sitting at a boardroom table of a mid-size corporation with a hot apple-pumpkin spice beverage in hand, participating in an in-person strategic planning session with the executive and board members. It's Wednesday afternoon, the middle of a week long retreat at a downtown hotel ballroom. You're talking about the five year strategy for the organization, ambitious plans to go forth and do wonderful things between 2019 - 2023. The board has also committed to doubling the number of women in management and leadership from 15% (to 30%!) and everyone is very proud of this bold stance in the industry. At the end of the week the team feels great, and they make plans to present the strategy to the company at the annual holiday party. Later, the CEO publishes the new strategy and starts setting up the big changes to come, all before the ball drops on New Year's Day 2019.
How much of what you just read would be impossible today?
Fast forward to 2020 and we are in the middle of a shift in the way we live and work - amid a social movement for racial equality and global upheaval due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This change is happening faster than we imagined and we are still in the middle of it.
Change Strategy is about what happens to your plan when big change happens that you didn't expect. Change Strategy happens outside of the "mid-term strategic plan refresh" and works in three steps, determining:
We take a holistic approach to finding the gaps between the planned state and what we think the future will look like, chart the new course and then make sure that people are invested. We are starting to see that there will be lasting effects to the changes we are experiencing, and in order to survive and thrive we will need to change course now.
Change Strategy considers:
Change Strategy is how you move forward when everything has changed. This approach delivers a quick pivot, re-orients leaders and their people in a new direction and returns teams to delivering results. Once you know where you're going, the next challenge becomes how to rally people around a new direction -- culture and stories are a core part of Change Strategy implementation.