TO EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON.
One of the biggest challenge that we have in directing business is to know when to hold the course steady, versus changing things up. In fact, you’re probably doing both simultaneously in different aspects.
As you know, I’m a fan of cycles, seasons, holidays, and the general rhythm of life. Not because I’m easily bored, but because it helps to rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul.
In many ways, a business also has mind, body, and soul. So how do we know it’s time to switch things up?
First, we have to recognize that there’s different levels going on. My commitment to my family is life-long, period. Not negotiable. As is my commitment to spiritual health.
Because my coaching strongly relates to my mission in life, that’s pretty foundational as well.
In business, the analogy is to your core principles, mission, and values. Those things become more well articulated over time and may shift – but very slowly. You might even decide to start a new business rather than change the mission of an existing one.
There’s just some things which are bedrock and shouldn’t shift.
But above that, there’s lots of things that might change. But you have to think it through carefully, because you don’t want to confuse employees, customers and partners unless it’s absolutely necessary.
You want to change the structure of your products? Fine, but give your customers a migration path so they find it easier to stay with you than to bolt to the competition. Share with your employees why this is so vital, because their buy-in and support will make or break the change. When this affects partners – even in a tangential way – make sure you show them how this will benefit all concerned.
Other changes might be simpler. You’ve come up with a fresh marketing look that involves different colors, fonts, and logos. You might be tempted to think that everyone will be on board and invigorated by this.
But, oddly enough, people get attached to things. They’ve created internal stories which justify to themselves and others why the old way was powerful and effective. Or they may just be confused why you’ve invested in making a change when you could have, say, given them a raise instead.
You and I know that’s a false equivalence. But many employees just have a vague idea of how money flows in business.
Now you could get paranoid and never change anything, but that’s not the point. Improvement is vital.
Instead, this is about thinking through how you’re going to bring people along. It’s going to be a lot more communication than you think is necessary.
But we’re human and that’s how it works.