It’s come to this: You learned new ideas, set some great goals, and waited for results to roll in. Now, it’s time to evaluate the results. Are they indeed rolling in? Often, there’s a gap between the desire for making changes and actually creating the change. In large-scale business, there is a whole process for implementing new practices that often gets overlooked in small business. So, now’s the time to take stock: When it comes to implementing your new ideas into current business, have you established a change management strategy?
Mind the Gap: Big Business As Roadmap
Big business understands that the gears of change move slowly, and that across the organization, it can be a mammoth effort to get everyone on board, accept and apply the new ideas, and then follow through to enforce the new practices. On a larger scale, executives release changes in phases, leaders disperse instructions to managers, and employees receive multiple exposure to the plan to ensure their buy-in throughout the implementation.
In small business, you’re the change agent as well as recipient. How do you manage change throughout your organization?
Managing Change In Small Business
I’d say the first step is already in place: recognizing the need for change and understanding the type of change you’d like to see. There are many ideas rolling around your mind, from pumping up the power of your voice to understanding your financials better to improving profit. You’ve probably made some lists of goals, created a running to-do list, and worked with your profit coach to identify the change you’d like to make. That’s a great start!
So, let’s get to the next step, breaking the goals down into manageable actions. As a change agent for yourself, you need to link those goals to actionable steps with deadlines. When will you complete each? Map your strategy for change to a timeline so that you can see the big picture of growth.
Then, decide on mile markers, points in time that evaluate your process and demonstrate growth. When will you check on the process and review your progress? What will you use to measure rate of growth?
Finally, continue to create buy-in with yourself; stay motivated. What will remind you that these changes are important? How will you keep your “eye on the prize”? Motivational strategies abound, from daily affirmations to coaching to calendar reminders, to stay focused on the big picture that makes this all worth it.
Are We Done Yet?
Wait—not quite done…in what ways will you enforce the change? You’ll need to make sure things stick. What can you do to be accountable for the changes? One way is to make a commitment to a third party, someone outside of your organization who will expect to see your changes. For example, make an announcement and build an expectation in clients that you’ll work to achieve. For example, “Coming soon! . . .” or “Next month, watch for …”
Change Takes Time
No matter the size of the business, any business will need to manage change with structure and strategy. If we go back to the beginning, let’s revise that initial concept to look like this: You learned new ideas, set some great goals, established a strategy to implement the goals, and plotted a timeline for results.
Now, you’re ready; it’s time for a change. Don’t stop - keep going - you have help when you need it - reach out.