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If you want change to go smoothly and successfully, then create an environment that supports it
Every organisation wants to bring in a bright new winning strategy from time to time, such as servitization (see our video) or a new Internet of Things product line, and to make it go smoothly they put a lot of thought into how they’re going to introduce it to the staff. They bring in change management schemes, high-performing teams, new targets and so on. The trouble is, they’re an after-thought and they rarely work. They treat people as targets of a campaign to be influenced, persuaded and enticed, all of which can result in suspicion and division. This leads to the new strategy not fulfilling its potential or quickly becoming unsustainable, leaving everyone feeling frustrated or, worse, threatened.
Improve Working Environment
People in general want their situation, and that of the people around them, to improve. But they are also driven by psychological needs which an intelligent organisation can fulfil in a way that works for everyone. People are massively driven by their environment, much more than a set of logical presentation slides (no matter how good the graphic designer). If you want the team to get behind you, then build a better team environment. If peers strive for higher standards, then performance, attitude and habits across the whole department will improve.
This is why some school classes always perform better than others, some sports teams consistently improve their game and why some regional business hubs have much higher levels of economic growth and innovation (e.g. Silicon Valley). For instance, introducing an above average athlete to a team sets new expectations on everyone else because they see it as the new norm, not just on game day but in training sessions too. A clever coach will create an environment where dedication to training, exceeding personal bests and working as a team are the norm and become a habit.
Create a great working environment
What makes for a great team environment then? Adjusting an environment means re-setting the norm, encouraging peer pressure to reinforce best practise and being open to learning from mistakes. If there is a problem then the automatic reaction should be to find the root cause, not make quick fixes. If a target is too big, then people should search out other teams to collaborate with and join forces on a common goal.
We have found in our research 4 winning habits of successful companies that contribute to a positive and forward-looking environment. They are direction, dialogue, decision-making and discovery. Together, they create an environment where people want to succeed, where they know they have influence and where their daily habits make innovation and change the norm, energising and fun.
If you want to discover how well your company is performing then try out the Momentum Scorecard from moreMomentum and see how you compare to others in your field.