Break Out of the Rut: Why Companies Need to Embrace Change to Survive

Change. I know most of us, especially after two years of a pandemic, and constant, uninvited change may leave you feeling tired just thinking about it. Events out of our control can bring feelings of powerlessness, discomfort, attachment to the past and avoidance. 

A family business, if steeped too heavily in tradition, will often have unresolved conflicts between generations about how to move the company forward in the future. Other problems that can create challenges are outdated SOPs, avoiding acquiring and using new technology, lack of healthy company culture and investment in researching the external market. 

Are you running a daily business and struggling with getting out from under generations of doing something the ways it’s always been done? Keep reading!

With a proactive stance and a bit of preparation, change can also inspire fresh ideas, excitement, anticipation, creativity and innovation. These ingredients are what companies need to survive.

The Nature of Change

Change can appear as an event and is also ubiquitous in nature (meaning it is woven into the fabric of our lives, businesses and relationships). For example, the pandemic impacted each company’s workforce. One client was forced to move products through its facility with fewer people. This led to changes in steps (processes) their products had to move through to get staged on the loading dock.

Company Culture and How It Affects Businesses

A company culture that is dynamic, adaptive and in alignment with the company business model sets you up for success. Stagnant culture, like stagnant business models, leaves the company weak and at risk – competitors will overtake the market and customers will lose interest in your business. 

Customers are savvy – they can access information online in a second about prices, product and service reviews. They will have an opinion about your product or service even before trying it. Hence knowing your target market, and competitors, having a strong brand and a committed team of talent are a must in today’s marketplace. Even 20 years ago, consumers could not access nearly the amount of information in days that they can now see in a few seconds on their smartphones. This highly influences their decision-making about purchases.

How Worldwide, Macro Change Creates Micro Change In Your Company

Company change allows for innovation and improves employee engagement. The marketplace and global influences change so quickly that having a solid, committed team of talent, who believe in the vision and mission of the company and leaders is a must in moving forward. People who have a sense of community, trust and supportive resources in place do their best work. 

A culture that embraces change empowers its employees.

Being proactive, positive and prepared for change in an organization will help you navigate stormy waters, maintain trust, keep top talent and recognize the resources your company needs in order to manage current and future changes. 

11 Tips for Promoting Healthy Change in Your Company Culture

What can you do in your company to support a healthy culture for change? Here are 11 tips for getting started.

  1. Clearly define the company culture for the future – what are the values and priorities? For example, is your company known for innovation, diversity and inclusion, or social and environmental responsibility?
  1. Talent – ensure you are hiring employees that fit the company culture.
  1. Plan strategically – use strategy, identify desired outcomes, potential challenges, costs, risks, and benefits.
  1. SOPs – clear and accessible, and will outline how change will be addressed.
  1. Build relationships – as a leader, connect with your employees. Reward employees for pointing out issues and offering solutions.

I find many of my clients don’t have a process for submitting issues for review. People historically were shut down for bringing up problems. A great resource is Gino Wickman’s book,  Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business. His formula: identify the issue, discuss it, then solve it. 

  1. A growth mindset – encourage and embrace change for company success.
  1. Empower employees – the leadership team’s decision-making ultimately affects the employees. Staff may be worried about losing their jobs, getting moved to different teams, and feeling overwhelmed about learning new SOPs.
  1. Leadership development training – regardless of rank within the hierarchy.
  1. Communication – start early, and keep employees informed. Examples are emails, town hall meetings, and team meetings.
  1. Innovation – proactive change is embedded in the blueprint of the company culture.
  1. Consider an outside facilitator – to bring in for quarterly meetings to address change. This will contribute an objective perspective and specialized skillset to help you navigate organizational redesign.

By implementing even a few of these tips, you are heading in a positive direction with engaging change in your organization. When prepared with systems and processes in place, whether it is an event or ubiquitous, is necessary for the growth and sustainability of your family business.

Is your company going through a major change, affected by external and/or internal stressors? Need some help? I can guide you through and support you to navigate the challenges and design company practices that will help you succeed.

Click the button below to set up a call with me.

Wendy Dickinson

About the Author

Wendy Dickinson is the founder of Ascend Coaching Solutions LLC, a coaching firm that specializes in working with business owners and executives who plan to expand their leadership capacity as their business grows.

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