No organisation is ever where the leader wants it to be, there is always room for improvement, or something to be different. In fact, this is a very healthy perspective. First of all, an organisation needs to grow just to stay relevant.
Secondly, all organisations have weaknesses, identifying and dealing with them is like Herding Cats!
Herding Cats: a pretty tough task! Like cats, most employees are independent individuals that like to do things their own way. Dogs will follow you on a lead, whilst cats will walk with you, if they feel like it, for as far as they want to and then complain to be picked up and carried home.
In your organisation, the more weaknesses you see and fix, the more details you pay attention to, and the more improvement you’ll find. This is the path of continuous improvement. Improving a process or product involves a process of evaluation and change.
The steps, functions, or capabilities are manipulated like a math equation to bring about different results, and it can happen very quickly.
But what about the changes that involve people, behaviours and culture? This type of change is much more personal and intimate; it requires shaping to bring about effective results. Shaping can only originate from the leader of an organisation.
It requires their personal touch and investment to make it happen.
Let?s look at the specifics you as a leader need to know to shape your organisation into a highly functioning one:
- Shaping implies constant gradual change. If the right pace of change is not acquired, your chance of success is limited. Too much at one time will damage your organisation, as a result of fear and panic. Too little will not sustain change and make your organisation unhappy with it.
- Because the change is going to take some time, make sure you establish in detail a far-off vision for what you want your organisation to look and act like. Then detail small changes that will act as stepping stones to your vision.
- Each change needs a key person. Most of you can delegate to your trusted staff, but some you will need to keep for yourself due to the importance or potential resistance within your organisation.
- As you begin to shape your organisation do not be surprised when your organisation regresses. Some changes have a strong memory and slowly revert back to their old ways. When this happens put the required effort into getting things back in line and then keep your eye on them, apply effort to ensure the change sticks.
- As the leader, you are the only person who can keep you vision alive and keep your organisation moving towards it. You have to be extremely diligent and disciplined. If you don?t pay attention to it, your organisation won’t either. Your vision may weaken and die as a result. As I said earlier, when you decide to shape your organisation you are in it for the long haul. What will be fun for you is looking back at the end of each year and seeing that change does make a difference. Most people will not notice it like you do because it was a shaping process.That’s OK, it’s the different results you desired and will get credited for.