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How to Pull Your Head out of the Sand Once and for All and Finally Make the Changes You Need

May 5, 2016 Andrew Freedman


70% of change initiatives fail to deliver the intended business impact.

70% of the workforce in the US is disengaged.

You’ve likely heard those statistics before, and that’s not where the value of this post lies.

Our team at eQ lives in a special space with our clients every day. We LOVE the work and impact associated with helping leaders and organizations beat the odds connected to the statistics shared at the top of this post. Therein lies the gold for you. We LOVE the work – and get this: the work IS the work.

What do I mean by that?

Often, when we start working with clients, they (CEOs, senior leaders, mid-level managers, front line team members, etc.) are enthusiastic, energized, hopeful, curious, optimistic, and, overall, excited for the possibilities that lie ahead.

Through our initial individual and organizational diagnostics, we surface many things that contribute to the firm’s current successes (which is important in replicating these across the firm, and to do so more intentionally). We also unearth barriers that prevent higher levels of performance, unleashing a team’s true potential. From there, we develop an implementation plan for how we will work with our client to improve organizational performance in alignment with their goals and vision of the firm.

We build lots of stuff: vision, core values, company story, growth models and business plans, sales and marketing strategies, systems and processes that provide space to engage with colleagues more effectively, customer experience frameworks, and processes and approaches to engage employees more effectively across all stages of the employee lifecycle.

Whew. That’s a lot. Seriously. These are many, but not all of the elements in our Growth Methodology. But you know what? Building these things, in and of themselves, doesn’t help our clients grow.

This is where those statistics at the top come in to play.

This is where resistance begins to show up.

Moving from the building phase to the action and implementation phase is where organizational impact really begins. Let’s face it, when it comes to organizational change, many employees don’t really expect change to stick. They hope the positive changes come, but the reality is they’ve seen so many false starts, so many “flavor-of-the-day” initiatives, and so many leaders not fulfill promises that the employees have given up in many ways. Heck, the leaders have even given up in a lot of respects.

How do I know this? Because along the path towards sustained, healthy growth, we hear things like:

“I didn’t know it would be this hard.”

“How much longer is this going to take?”

“This isn’t what I signed up for!”

“I didn’t realize I was going to have to deal with people so much.” (Really, we have had clients say that to us)

“In my position, I shouldn’t have to deal with this.” (If that is your attitude, please go do something else)

“I don’t have time for this. I’ve got real work to do.”

Read that last one again. And again. And again.

Let it really sink in.

Folks, I’ve got news for you: This work IS the work. That’s right. Organizational change and the various elements of our Growth Methodology aren’t additional things for you to do, they are the ONLY things for you to do, and they are woven into every element of leading a business: strategy, sales, marketing, finance, IT, customer service, e-commerce, recruiting, HR, operations … get the picture?

Get off the hamster wheel of trying the latest and greatest fad, get your head out of the sand, and get with what is real: treat your employees like customers, and your customers like employees. Get your head on right, put your focus where it needs to be, fall in love with the critical work associated with meaningful impact, and let’s really grow something special.

TOPICS: High Performance, Alignment, Business Growth, Employee Engagement