I often extol the virtues of people. The importance of the right people. The need for people who are intelligent and street smart at the same time. The need for people who can bring something more to the table than what’s currently being offered.
A company I’m doing some work for is in the middle of a change upheaval. And the upheaval is due to people. A few new employees are on board, with more to come. And then there’s the old guard, standing firm, refusing to change. The company was at its tipping point, but also at an impasse. Until recently. And that’s when the top blew off the place in frustration. Frustration that things were changing. Frustration that the company was losing its culture. Frustration that it was becoming too corporate.
None of these issues were really true. It was the feeling that the newness was taking over the status quo. The newness in people, and in new ways of thinking. The newness in bringing structure to the organization. The newness in building the foundation so the concept could become scalable.
And all that change is making people who’ve been company mainstays feel queasy and unsure. Unsure of the future and of their role. Every organization that wants to get somewhere has to deal with the issue. And people either rise to the occasion, or they fall by the wayside.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
Momentum is unstoppable when it reaches critical mass.
This company has reached its critical mass. Too many wheels have been set in motion. And now, there’s no going back. Back to the old ways. Back to the status quo.
If you’re in this situation, through a change in your company, through an acquisition or other company-changing experience, you, as the leader have two options. Try to retain the old ways of doing business OR adapt to the new.
The latter is always necessary in order to prosper. Here are a couple things to keep in mind:
- Let the company move forward, but with a plan in mind. Don’t map out every detail — you’ll only be back where you started. Your job as the leader is to shape the future but not contain it. To keep the company rolling forward along its path, but not to put it on a track that doesn’t deviate. Be prepared to You have to course correct along the way. Everyday and
always. Too many things are in flux and leading without the ability to
course correct will only result in mediocrity.
- Communicate. And overcommunicate. The more employees are aware of the change, the more they’ll jump on board and become agents of change.
- Hire people who can help impact change. People who come with new ways of approaching old problems.
Trade up whenever you have the opportunity. Ultimately, it’s about the people, and bringing the right people into the organization that can help the company change. Lead by hiring the right people and your company will reach levels it’s never reached before.