Go Get ‘em (Part Two)

So I’m hoping you have landed here from Part One of the framework for change for transforming your organization to one that has the public cloud front and center.

We previously explored the theory and steps 1-2, so let’s dive further into how you make this happen.

STEP THREE: Model the Way

Or….The leader is the living embodiment of the change.

How passionate are you about the change you’re trying to drive? If you’re MEH on the whole public cloud thing, that energy will be palpable in your organization and not a damn thing will change. Driving big change in an organization is so hard that if you’re not personally excited about it, chances are the employees who are 3, 4 or 5 levels away from you won’t be excited about it either.

You should also look at the effectiveness of the rest of your leadership team. I’ve never been part of a successful change led by one person, no matter how good that person was. There was always a coalition of leaders guiding the overall effort. Who are the critical people sharing the leadership mantle with you? Get them together as a team to discuss the change and enlist their help in planning the move forward. I know you’re busy, but it’s very much worth your time – so make the time. You could have dinner with them followed by a one-day offsite, and a good agenda for that meeting would be to walk them through each step of this change model. By doing so, the outcome will be that the plan become YOUR TEAM’S plan (not just yours) to transform the organization. This is a really big deal and critical to your success, so don’t blow it off no matter how hard it is to get it scheduled (even during “coronatimes”). The only reason to not do this meeting is if your leadership team stinks and will be gone in a matter of months.

STEP FOUR: Change the Work

Or…People begin working in a “new way” consistent with the vision.

If you were around in 1980s America, you may remember a famous advertisement for fast-food chain Wendy’s that made fun of the puny meat patty you’d get in a McDonald’s hamburger. Three elderly women would look at the hamburger and ask each other “Where’s the beef?” Well, STEP FOUR is the “Where’s the beef?” step of the change model.

It’s one thing to talk about change; it’s another very different thing to actually do it. Maybe you’ve already started implementing lots of changes and you’ve gotten the organization moving. However, the key is to execute at least one VERY BIG CHANGE, very well. This will show the organization that you’re both serious and highly effective.

Ask yourself: what is the most critical change needed to ensure the success of the new organization? Is it how much you save from your move to the public cloud? Or the increased time to market on a new service roll out? Or how about an improved customer NPS? Or is it something else? 

Once you decide, you need to drive the change home so emphatically that everyone understands the old way of doing business is dead, and a new way has replaced it. People need to feel like you’ve burned the boats (and there’s no turning back!) on the old approach, and only the new way of thinking is accepted in your culture. You can then build on the momentum of that one very big change to introduce other new ideas for working more effectively.

STEP FIVE: Make it Stick

Or….The “new way” of working becomes the “usual way” of working.

To lock in new behaviors, you need wholesale change in the systems of your organization. You may need a new organizational structure, new performance measures, new bonus design, etc. – so spend time with your HR generalists on what systems need to change to support the new way of working.

You may also need to take a step back and do a more thorough review of the design of your entire organization. You may want to use McKinsey’s 7-S Framework as it’s both easy-to-understand and comprehensive. Based on the results of the review, you should sequence and prioritize the systemic changes you feel are necessary for success. The orderly implementation of these changes is what ultimately will result in lasting change. Again, this would be a very good discussion to have with your leadership team, assuming you have the right people in place.

This may seem a bit academic, but it’s meant to be practical advice to make your desired change a reality. I find that going through the five steps helps me think comprehensively about the overall task at hand, as opposed to getting lost in the details. I hope it will help you and your team do the same.

Go get ’em!

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