We’re going through some truly significant “change” exercises at our business. Long-standing polices are getting a work-over — and the shake-up is providing some unexpected results. I don’t want to jinx things by discussing in an open blog work in progress, but am intrigued by the way we discovered and then are implementing the changes.
The business plan — systematic strategic decision-making
We decided on an expansion model at our annual business planning meeting last fall that would require a different strategy to expand the market, especially in the U.S. Then we hit the hard wall of reality — how can we find the right people to execute the plan.
Experimentation, trial and error, searching, learning, trying some more
We tried a variety of implementation ideas. Some worked, sort of. Some seemed to have promise, but didn’t materialize. All required “some” budget — but such a small amount of money that the business would never be in risk if the test idea failed. (I would be really concerned about diving into the deep unknown with a large-budget initiative.)
Feedback loop — Adapting and modifying current systems to the new structures
We needed to adapt some standard processes and systems, but avoided complete tear-downs. This reduces stress and risk.
Are we on track with our original plan/projections? No. Are we making progress in addressing the fundamental questions? Yes.
The good news, as well, is that we began seeing new questions, ideas, issues, and directions at our mid-year planning review meeting, conducted in a different format but adapting many of the processes from before.