Do you sometimes feel like you are slogging knee-deep through a mud pit to get important initiatives implemented?
Have you ever had a game-changing idea, but nobody else saw the potential?
No matter how slow the rest of your organization is to buy in to your ideas or get things done, here are five things you can do to speed things up and make transformational change happen.
1. Gain clarity.
Businesses are facing a ruthless competitive climate. Rapid changes will likely continue to accelerate, and with this comes a constant need to be agile, quickly adjust course, and engage the talents and brains of everyone in the business.
To navigate a successful route requires a thoughtful approach. The guiding light of where your organization is headed, and what it will or will not do to get there, is the vision.
Vision, visionary leadership and engagement are terms often used but rarely understood or applied consistently. To inspire and engage people leaders must provide clarity.
But the truth is few organizations have a vision that means anything, or worse they don’t have one at all.
NAVIGATING THROUGH A BLINDING SNOWSTORM ...
Think about this.
You’re traversing a mountain trail with your team. You’re in an open part of the trail and suddenly a blinding snowstorm and winds kick up.
The path is rocky and it’s really hard to see because of the snowflakes getting in your eyes, and the wind whipping your face. You can’t see further than 30 feet ahead. Consequently you move more slowly and cautiously to safely navigate your climb. It is dangerous and scary because you can’t see—you have no vision.
The next day you set out to climb, conditions have vastly improved. The sun is shining and there’s a clear blue sky. You can see other mountain peaks 30 miles in the distance.
Relating this concept of a blinding snowstorm and vision to your business here are two questions to ponder:
- Is your company operating in a snowstorm, getting disoriented, uncertain or even lost in the mountain? Are your managers and employees resistant or fearful of making a change or acting?
- Does your company have a compelling vision with a clear sense of purpose and direction? Is there a well-defined path for the future? Are people courageous, taking on challenges, taking calculated risks, and enthusiastic about being part of the journey and with you on this adventure?
Many leaders are blindly trying to guide their employees. If the path isn’t clear, leaders can't see far ahead. So they feel cautious of making a quick decision and they avoid risk. Instead of seeing opportunities they see obstacles.
Without a strong vision to guide them leaders become nearsighted, overly cautious, uninspired, and uninspiring to their employees. Over time this dramatically compromises an organization’s speed, agility and progress.
They end up being reactive and focusing on the short term, instead of the long term.
On the other hand, when leaders have a clear, sharp, purposeful and compelling vision for the future, they and their employees get excited, they become more innovative and committed. They plan ahead, set ambitious targets, and take inspired action.
Your vision can be long-term or can be short-term for a specific project that you want to get implemented.
If you have a vision to share get your team warmed up and excited about it. To accomplish this you have to be authentic, human, not all “numbersey”, and get your employees to feel an emotional connection to sell them on your vision
For instance, you might create a short slideshow, while telling a story with images that will evoke emotion. Communicate “where and why” you are heading in a certain direction. You might match the photos with a evocative song. Have fun with this!
2. Enlist believers.
In every organization there are people who are positive thinkers and want to become part of something exiting, and experience forward movement and growth.
Whatever it is that you want to do or where you want to go, paint a picture of it what it looks like. Start talking it up with those with the desire and position to help.
Notice who gets excited about your ideas and starts contributing their own ideas to make it successful. These are the enthusiastic believers you want on your team. Ask them to help you. You may be surprised at how easy it is to gain support for your vision.
3. Challenge the status quo.
Every company has many written and unwritten rules that guide behavior. Often times, the way things are done get in the way of accomplishing what you desire.
You may need to challenge the status quo, cultural mindset or some rules to accomplish your goals. Figure out what obstacles you will run in to. Plan how you will navigate or negotiate your way around them.
4. Communicate results early and often.
Nothing speaks like results. Get a few quick wins under your belt and other people you need on your side will suddenly start noticing you, or even lining up to help you to become part of the success.
Don’t be shy about blowing your horn.
Communicate every milestone accomplished and positive result achieved on your journey. It could be a positive customer comment, a cost savings, improved productivity, a new customer, the first dollar of revenue for a new product—all these are hard evidence that your cause is worth investing in.
5. Give everyone credit.
When you start making progress spread credit for your accomplishments far and wide.
Look deep to find a way you can let the road blockers and naysayers have a share of the credit. You may just find that they are more supportive and moving faster with you the next time around!
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