One is the Greatest Change Strategy


About a year ago, Avon Products decided to scrap a four-year IT project. And this was the second time in those four years that it did so…with another vendor. The change in software and process that was rolled out in small doses failed. Avon was left with poor process, frustrated customers and quitting employees. Estimates are that Avon lost about $125 million when it was all said and done. Ah, change.

Driving change is a million dollar idea. On a weekly basis, new guides, books, podcasts, TED talks, etc. come out to help us drive change. “Here are three things proven to work,” “Here are four change strategies to implement,” “Here are the five top change ideas to use today”…you get the idea. So, am I going to add to the preponderance of material circulating today? Sort of.

I have always been a shortcut finder. Why do what might take four steps when I can do it in one? There is one focus that all change management drills down to.

Driving change is a million dollar idea.

Simply, change is driven by people, not process. The one change strategy that will catapult companies is its people. Any organisation truly looking to accelerate its place in its economic standing only needs to look at the effectiveness and attributes of its people.


Sunrise Near Lolaygaon-courtesy shdt@freeimages.com

Change is often those small relational issues that work inner and inter. Inter-related people dealings refer to the client/company dynamic. Think of what is customer-facing. A company’s reputation to the consumer is derived from this inter-relatedness. A customer is computing, “How am I treated?”

Conversely, the inner-relationships represent the employee/employee dynamic. Change, too, can be cultivated here by a deliberate level of engagement from one employee to another. Do not be fooled to think that each employee isn’t also asking himself/herself, “How am I treated?” The difference is in impact to the organisation.

Perhaps one bad customer/staff interaction can cause that client never to return. This is not an ideal circumstance. Consider, too, one bad employee/employee interaction can cause a separation of employment. And, perhaps, out the front door with that wronged employee go knowledge, skills and aptitudes that may not be easily replaced. This, too, is not an ideal circumstance.

Simply, change is driven by people, not process. The one change strategy that will catapult companies is its people.

Change comes from addressing those inner- and inter-relational dynamics. This is not sensitivity training or a series of communications workshops (although, there is nothing wrong with either in and of themselves), but rather a regular ‘pulse-taking’ measure for the organisation’s propensity to change through the relational climate encouraged.

Let’s use this one truth practically.

Is your staff miserable? Interesting question, but call in to your company one day and pretend to be someone else.

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