Think of Sebastian Vettel calling the pit stop crew to join him in the race to change the wheels and refuel while he is at 200mph! That’s performing while transforming.
It would be hard to find a company that does not have the word “transformation” in its vocabulary today. Everybody is transforming, everyone is changing, all the time. So when do you steady the ship? When do you consolidate ?When do you reap the benefits of change? When do you win the race? Never?
Why do organizations want to change what’s working for them or has been working for them for so long? The market dynamics force us to alter our business strategy is one example. Imagine life without these transformations, Cab to Uber , neighborhood shop to Flipkart, Cable TV to YouTube, offline to online!
Having said that, but if you perpetually keep on changing, then there will be little or no time for the workforce to absorb the change, process it and be productive.This chaos is most felt by folks responsible for execution of the strategy. As a result, they battle more discontent and underperform. Too much change, in short intervals, introduces chaos and instability within the ranks. As a result, the whole goal of increasing productivity goes for a toss. The goal of creating new efficiencies is defeated. Isn’t that the very purpose for which you introduced change?
And so as an organization neither are you transforming, nor performing.
Then comes the proverbial knee-jerk reaction. If people don’t change, change people! The churn takes out momentum and intellectual capital from your business apart from the usual suspects of time ,energy and money. So what does an organization gain from this overhaul?
The impact may not be seen immediately for cash rich organizations, but for smaller entities these are tough to manage and threatens their survival. For the former, it disrupts a quarter or two which is overcome by economies of scale and data masking.
So should the organizations not change? Of course not. They do need to change,however factoring in the right time-frame and pace of change is critical. What is quickly discussed and agreed in a boardroom takes a little longer to get accepted in the street. This is a market reality. Simply because, the level of understanding differs as we go down the chain.
So top leaders who keep an ear to the ground can translate the message from the boardroom to the lowest common denominator in the organization ,which they do, cursorily, which in my view does not cut ice. You need a leader to roll up the sleeves and go into the trenches with the soldiers and speak to them in their language. That is when you sow the seed to transformation at the base. Then give it time and reaffirmation.
It does cost bandwidth and sustaining it will be a challenge. But think about it, if you need time to even convey the message, why would you not be patient with the recipient understanding the message? That is when true transformation will happen and organizations will reap the benefits of change, otherwise not only will they corrode their market standing, but also lose people who initiated the change.