By Andrew Russo, Andrew RussoBusiness Mechanic
30 July 2020
The pace of doing business is speeding up, not slowing down.
Each year the pressure grows across businesses – on the people, the cash flow, leadership, operations and technologies. Ultimately, this has a negative impact on the overall growth and profit. This year COVID-19 has created even more pressure and quickly changed the way we do business.
Did you know that most business pressure stems from an inability to successfully implement change?
So what can be done? What strategies can be implemented to guide a business and its team to a ‘new normal’ in which successful change implementation is the norm?
Here are three strategies to assist:
Strategy 1 - Focus on micro tasks
Think back to your last planning session or project team meeting. What strategies and actions were agreed?
Were the action points vague or specific? Too often planning sessions lead to broad statements such as: 'do a marketing plan', 'refine our sales process' or 'fix that problem' but rarely outline how to achieve the outcomes required.
Teams often head down the wrong path or, worse, don’t start the change process at all. A simple solution is to break down the broad task into micro tasks, highlighting how to achieve the goal and the steps required to reach the desired outcome. Try this simple ‘micro tasks’ strategy in your next planning session and you’ll see the instant benefits.
Strategy 2 - Provide just-in-time learning
Sending teams to a two-day residential training session in order to learn new skills is becoming a thing of the past. There’s a place for these types of events but 10 years ago every training event was a two-day off-site workshop with little accountability for acquisition and the use of new learnings. Retention of new skills was therefore low and too often lost until a specific need arose and the learning had to be re-acquired.
To obtain the right skills in this fast-paced business environment, you need to shift the thinking of your people to 'just-in-time' learning. To address a specific issue, such as understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, they should schedule half an hour into their diary to learn that skill via an online learning platform or quick internal training session and then quickly apply it in the field.
Retained learning is increased with application of the learning. Best of all a solution to the issue is implemented immediately driving the change momentum.
Strategy 3 - Capture and track your strategies and actions using innovative technologies
When returning to a strategy developed months ago do you spend hours searching through emails to remind yourself about discussions and agreed actions? Even with the discipline of having 'One Page Plans' operating in your business you’ll still be wasting hours putting yourself back in the same 'head-space' to decide on next steps.
Speed up your pace of implementing strategies and use the latest cloud technologies to track your projects and tasks, there’s a lot of great, cost-effective options available. Time savings and productivity gains will be felt immediately so you’re free to focus on the growth and profit of your business.
While these three strategies are not a magic pill they’ll assist in adapting your approach to implement change in a fast-paced business environment.
Clients of PKF have access to PKF Online (powered by Mindshop), allowing them to capture and track strategies, actions and professional development in one location. This information is only visible to you and your adviser who can then confidentially suggest appropriate courses and tools from hundreds of resources within PKF Online.
PKF Online coupled with just-in-time learning and a focus on micro tasks is a fantastic way to help you speed up your pace of implementation giving back valuable time to focus on the growth and profit of your business.
If you would like to discuss how we can assist you implement change more effectively, please contact your adviser.