IF YOU WANT TO EMBRACE CHANGE, GET COMFORTABLE WITH FAILURE, FLEXIBILITY, AND THE IDEA THAT YOU CAN’T DO IT ALONE.

Few things are as exciting as seeing a business really embrace change.

It’s about more than just setting up a change management team or sending your leadership group on brainstorming retreats. It’s about creating a culture of change throughout the organization, one that goes beyond an elite band of managers and project leaders to create a truly transformative and innovative culture.

Creating that culture can be hard, but it’s worth it for the results.

The Engine of Change
Since the post-war founding of the Toyota production system, the car industry has been at the forefront of business change. Toyota’s approach, and that of the lean thinking that followed it, was one of constant self-reflection and improvement.

From endlessly examining the systems in place for waste to engaging everyone in a cycle of diagnosis and improvement, Toyota built change into the very fabric of its business so that a change culture naturally arose from it.

The power of the Toyota approach was that it was not reliant on one single person.

While key leaders had a big impact, those leaders couldn’t be constantly present in every part of the organization. A change culture allowed their presence to be felt even in their absence and ensured that change kept happening even when there wasn’t a project manager there to drive it. Improvement was continuous.

It’s an approach that has been relearnt more recently in the same industry, this time by Hyundai. Chung Mong-Koo’s success in turning the business around has depended on flattening out organizational hierarchies and remodeling entire processes, turning the whole culture into one of change.

Dissociating change from the intervention of leaders also has a benefit in morale and retention.

We all gain satisfaction from problem solving and feeling like we can influence our environment. And so a change culture, by empowering everyone, can provide a huge boost to engagement, retention, and morale. <Continued on FastCompany.com>

 

Read the remainder of my article, the full article, on Fast Company: http://www.fastcompany.com/3029374/why-you-should-build-change-into-the-fabric-of-your-business

Image credit: netsuthep / 123RF Stock Photo