Introducing major changes without consolidating your gains is like starting a training program without changing your lifestyle.
Too many organizations still tackle their transformation much as they would a New Year’s resolution ... and like resolutions, project after project fails to produce results.
How can you tell whether you’re losing weight, improving your cardiovascular fitness or running farther and faster if you don’t measure your progress? Setting ambitious goals is good, but making sure you’re on track to achieve them is better.
From the outset, put the means to measure your progress in place and resist the temptation to move on to the next initiative until all the indicators are green. One organization, for instance, ensured that all its employees had received the required training by sending regular attendance reports to immediate supervisors.
Identify the behaviours you wish to see adopted and model them. I saw one executive move from his large windowed office to work with his team in open-plan work areas to encourage collaboration.
The following tool provides other reinforcement strategies that you can put in place.
As any coach will tell you, getting fit and staying fit requires changing old habits to make new habits a way of life. That can take months ‒ or even years. Sticking to your transformation plan until you achieve your goals takes determination and a good support plan. Identifying super users in each area who will influence their colleagues on the ground or setting up a mini employee support call centre can help consolidate gains.
Once clear targets have been communicated and measurement mechanisms have been put in place, it is time to take action: celebrate successes, and have the courage to act when results are less than optimal. If Jonathan keeps doing double data entry because he wants to keep his Excel file but it is not consistent with the new practices, start a conversation, and let him know that there will be consequences if he persists.
In short, for your transformation to succeed, you must specify the behaviours and results you wish to see and stay on top of your indicators of success by tracking them right to the end. Allow for a range of tracking mechanisms, such as meetings, scorecards and surveys, and if you don’t see results, talk about it and take action.