Managers are acutely aware of change and as such most will agree that the organization must be in a process of constant change or it will start to decline. The decline comes about as a result of the corporation standing still and all around it continuing to change. This can be best illustrated by imagining an organization that “goes to sleep” for ten years and is then “awakened” to deal with circumstances as they now exist. The people have all been asleep, systems and processes remain the same and the company’s products and services are as they were ten years ago. What will be this organization’s experience?
If we could place a series of cameras within a manufacturing centre for just two years and then play back the images in fast motion we will witness this Law in operation. The equipment used will be updated, technology will change, people will come and go, individual jobs will alter and some functions will be taken over by technology.
There is a Deeper Meaning for Business
All of the above is well understood and accepted and corporations do what they can to keep up to date and initiate constant change and continuous improvement programs. What is not so readily accepted or practiced in organizations is our understanding of how thought can influence change. Obviously thought must precede change. For example, you cannot install a new piece of manufacturing plant without the necessary efficiency studies, researching available technologies and decision-making. All of this thought and the action that follows creates the end result for the corporation. Any flaws in the thought process preceding the installation of the new plant will manifest as a cost to the corporation in one way or another.
The Importance of Aligning Employee Thinking
If employee and corporate thinking is not aligned on any given issue, the organization will pay a price. The ingredients for successful change are three-fold:
1. How well the change has been thought through
2. The intentions behind the change
3. Employee thinking with respect to the change
A large corporation may see benefit in implementing a new CRM system for the sales team. At the highest level within the organization, the intention is to provide a tool by which management can monitor the sales team. This in itself is not necessarily a negative thing, however employees thinking will be influenced according to the culture and preceding track-record of the management team.