Disrupting the Status Quo – Part 2

Disrupting the Status Quo – Part 2 150 150 Sharon Smith

In the first article in this series I outlined what the status quo is in general and three steps for disrupting it. If you have not read Part 1 yet you might want to start there

I also asked you to put down on paper some of the status quo’s for your organization that need disruption. So take out your list and follow along.

Remember from the last article that disrupting the status quo is essentially creating change and that change can be hard. Because change is hard for individuals, especially when we are talking about behavior change, the first step to disruption is to focus on one change at a time.

So how do you decide what needs to be disrupted first or what change is most needed?

You look at the list and decide which is one that will have the biggest impact overall. In other words is there one change that when implemented will cause change in other areas?

There are typically some issues that will get resolved by focusing on changes in other areas. Here is a simplified example – can customer satisfaction be improved if you focus on product delivery? Can product delivery be improved if you focus on team dynamics or safety? If these are true then focusing on team dynamics (let’s say that’s what you said could create the change to improving product delivery) would not only affect your product delivery, but would ultimately affect and improve your customer satisfaction.

The question you need to ask and get very clear on is what is the high level change you want? From there you can look at what the low level changes are that will push the high level change into being. And from that list you can find the one that will have the biggest impact and affect the most change.

Here is where many leaders get this wrong, the get together in a room with other executives and peers and try to figure out what the problem is they are trying to solve and all the low level changes needed. They don’t go to the source, where the information is best; they don’t go to their employees.

For solutions to have the greatest chance of solving the actual problem, you must turn to those closest to the problem, those who deal with it every day and most likely understand the root cause. If it’s an assembly problem the line worker who deals with that problem must be part of the solution, if it’s a software problem the developer who worked on the code must be part of the solution, and if it’s a customer service issue the call center representative or sales clerks must be part of the solution. You cannot solve problems you don’t know the root cause to and if you are not the one working in the area of the problem you really don’t know the root cause.

This means working with everyone in your organization (department or team) to really understand the problems, the ones that have the biggest impact and the ones where if solved the change will also affect the greatest number of people and have the greatest impact to the bottom line.

Once you have that clear picture on what needs your focus first you go to those closest to the problem and solicit their ideas. There are a ton of resources out there for you, consultants, specialists, coaches, books, articles, courses, etc. that address problem solving and decision making strategy and approaches. What I want you to take away from this is in order to start disrupting the status quo you need to have a clear picture of the problem you are trying to solve, you must work with those throughout your organization to identify what that is, you then must work with those closest to the problem on the solution, and most importantly you focus on one change at a time; the change that will have the biggest impact on your organization.

Stay tuned for the next article in this series and feel free to reach out with questions or comments to sharon@c-suiteresults.com or visit www.c-suiteresults.com for more resources. For a weekly podcast on success listen to C-Suite Success Radio available on iTunes or at http://csuitesuccessradio.libsyn.com/



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