In the United States Independence Day has become a day free of work where individuals can spend time with their families and friends setting off fireworks, eating, drinking, and being merry. July 4th is indeed a day for celebration, but also a day for reflection.
In 1776 the 13 American colonies were facing a series of challenges. They believed that they were being treated unfairly and were forced to live under a set of antiquated rules and regulations, many of which denied them basic human rights.
Forward thinking marketers and sales representatives are facing a less extreme but relatable set of challenges today.
- Employees may feel that their voices are not being heard
- Teams are working under a set of processes that are no longer effective
- Innovators have found that convincing their team to get on board with new ideas is virtually impossible
You can’t expect your situation to improve without making a few declarations of your own. In this post I have included what I consider to be 3 of the best ways to declare your independence, without evoking a revolution.
Abolish the “Business As Usual” Attitude
Introducing change to an existing organization is often met with resistance. Not because your team doesn’t want to be successful, but because they may have become comfortable with the way that things have been done in the past. However, future strategy creation cannot be based on past success alone.
Eliminating the “business as usual” attitude from your team can have many benefits including:
- Ridding your team of complacency which leads to stagnant work product
- Jumpstarting the creative juices which will lead to more innovation
- Enabling forward thinking team members to actively participate
Introduce Innovative Concepts in Phases
Fear of change can often derail even the best projects or initiatives. In order to convince your team or upper management that an idea is worth implementing, you must construct your argument in a way that appeals to their goals and objectives. I have found that taking a phased approach may remove some of the fear and uncertainty that can cloud your overall objectives. Below I have included an example of a phased approach that you may find useful for your own planning.
Phase 1: Assessment
- Where are you at currently?
- Which strategies and processes are working, and which are not?
- What are your goals and objectives?
Phase 2: Planning
- Which team members can help fulfill determined objectives?
- When are you looking to implement your new policies, procedures, or strategies?
- Who should be responsible for overseeing the project?
- What checklists and timelines need to be created in order to effectively manage the change?
Phase 3: Implementation
- Get it Done! Work within the guidelines you’ve created to execute on the plan you’ve laid out.
Phase 4: Measurement & Refinement
- How effective was your change?
- What would you have done differently?
- How will you adapt to improve your results?
Do Not Forget What You Stand For
Our founding fathers fought for independence so that their fellow Americans could experience equality, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We must also remember why it is that we are fighting for change. It is essential that you assess your objectives to determine if they:
- Have your organization’s and teams best interests in mind
- Are aligned with your customers goals and objectives
- Represent an innovative and forward thinking strategy
- Will enable you to have a larger impact
- Allow you to continue to be competitive in your marketplace
A more literal interpretation of the advice included in this article could lead your team to come up with your own mini Declaration of Independence or mission statement and goals. This will serve as a guide and reminder for your team on an ongoing basis. I’m curious to know what you have found to be the biggest challenges in making a shift within your organization and how you have overcome these obstacles. I hope that everyone has a fun and safe mid-week holiday and remembers those that made our independence possible.