Leading Change When it Bursts Through the Doors

Open Doors

Whether it is a planned or unplanned change, the disruption through a transition is often underestimated.

Are you ready for change?

4 Key Drivers 

Common to businesses are four key drivers and the organizational strategy for each one of them. Once a successful link has been made to each area, each team and individual goals are understood alongside execution and fair metrics.

Keep in mind, the sum of all the parts are the performance engine of your business.

The four key drivers to business success are:

  1. Financial
  2. Customers
  3. Internal and Operations
  4. People (any or all of HR, Learning, Talent ManagementOrganizational Development)

However, this framework is not free from effort or disruption. There is a catch to this perfect model.

Handling Change

This level of performance is driven by what goes on in between the lines, what is being measured, the execution of strategy.  In a steady state of business, we can navigate and flex through the ups and downs that occur in between these drivers and the shifts that need to be made to stay on the overall organizational track.

However when change bursts through the door, the drivers are kicked out of gear.

You are now driving a golf cart on a freeway through the mud and it is likely headed for one spot – the ditch.

Your business will neutralize if you do not know how to navigate through transition.

There is no special time limit on transition.  Just know that it just won’t go away with time.

It is a process that has a methodology. Another complexity is do you have the skill set to get through this. It comes down to the leadership through the storm and the management of Change. You must understand it is a skill you can acquire and not an event.

The Change event is liken to a birth announcement, but it isn’t quite so cute.

This baby is going to need a lot of attention. If you have ever raised a child or been on an airplane recently forced to observe these tiny terrors for a snippet of time –  you know it’s not an overnight thing.

Getting an Approach

Do not make the mistake of underestimating what needs to be done. The good news is, there is certainly a systematic approach to get out of the neutral zone.  What can get confusing is there is much literature surrounding the topic.

In my years of teaching about change and transformation, I like what Daryl R. Conner had to say in Managing at the Speed of Change.”

Use these quick tips to diagnose and learn more about this and  how to out of transition.

Adapting only a snapshot from this book and many hands on experiences with businesses experiencing the underestimation toll –  here is what I took away.

  A change cycle happens.  

Phase 1 is Endings

The way things use to be is no longer. It’s over – whether we like it or not.

Phase 2 is the Neutral  Zone  or Eye of the Storm

We can’t hold onto the past even if we desperately want to because it ended. It’s over. Yet sadly, we are not yet attached to the future. This is the ugliest part of the transition.

Phase 3 is New Beginnings

We start to see the future. We move out of the neutral zone and finally as the phase is aptly named – onto the new beginning of now.

Remember the cycle.  Get back to your drivers: Financial, Customers, Internal Operations, and People.

Take the time to realign the strategy and cascade it back down to link to new goals, metrics, and the  execution will commence again.

Critical Success Factors

Finally, there are critical success factors which all need a plan.

The way things used to be is over so the old plan needs some work.

What does the future look like?

Try planning for success around these  7 Critical Success Factors.

Realign your:

  1. Vision/Mission
  2. Customer Focus
  3. Leadership
  4. Teamwork
  5. Communication
  6. Employee Commitment
  7. Sales and Service


 Golf carts are not meant for the freeway. They will only get stuck in the mud. Dont let that happen to your business and its performance.

Have you ever had any formal training on how to manage change in your life or your business? What are the key issues facing change and the leadership in your business or organization? What would you like to see happening that isn’t? What can you do as a leader to prepare yourself, your team and or your organization for the change skill set?


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Delana McKinsley – Zarokostas is a Consultant at her company, The Werkx.
She serves her clients in building organizational development and effectiveness.
Email | LinkedIn | Web | Skype: delana1973 | (403) 472 – 7779

Image Sources: rehabstudents.com


One response to “Leading Change When it Bursts Through the Doors

  1. Pingback: Leaders: How to Build the Perfect Organizational Machine « Linked 2 Leadership·

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