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Transformation (Step 5): Create a Sense of Urgency

So far we have discussed four of the five critical steps in transforming you and your business on the journey to world-class / high performance / best-in-class, namely: 

1. Assessing leadership performance and building the senior leadership team 

2. Diagnosing and installing correct controls and measures 

3. Implementing a Marketing Planning Process (MPP) 

4.Implementing Employee Engagement Principles

Here we look at the fifth of five critical steps, and that is to create a crisis / sense of urgency with the 20/60/20 rule.

Arguably this is the ‘bravest’ step of all as you can only do this once, maybe twice at a push. Also, it takes guts to create a full crisis to make change happen and move it forward considerably. 

Some business people do not like the word crisis and use the phrase ‘sense of urgency’. We are OK with that as long as the principles are followed. 

A sense of urgency can be created by leaders focusing on the correct people in a business i.e. by following the 20-60-20 rule. 

The top 20% in an organisation are those people full of energy, ideas and enthusiasm who look forward to coming to work. They are the ones that go ‘more than the extra mile’.

The bottom 20% are the exact opposite - they are the low performers who often moan, whinge and complain about something or have reason to find fault. The mid-60% follow those who make most noise – yes, the bottom 20%. So, in most Western businesses 80% of the employees are against the management.

Guess who the leaders are focusing their attention upon? You got it - the bottom 20% thus reinforcing the mid-60% view that they are following the right group, as the bottom 20% are getting all of the senior management attention. 

What is needed is a ‘switch’ of attention and the leaders to start leading by focusing their attention on the top 20% to listen, communicate, coach, support, train these people first. The top 20% will love this as they see leaders finally wakening up to lead. Within weeks, the mid-60% will see the change in the leaders’ behaviour and they will switch and follow the top 20%.

Now the leaders have 80% of the organisation actively with them. Change can develop at a pace. Some of the bottom 20% may leave as they will not like the change or cannot keep up with it but most stay as they know the grass is not greener the other side of the fence. As the ‘rules of how things are done around here’ are changing, the bottom 20% will not want to break the rules so they follow the top 80%. Thus, you can take the whole organisation with you. The bottom 20% will still mump, moan, whinge etc. Just ignore them but manage situations where they break company rules.

This approach is simple, but rarely done.

We can assure you that if you embrace and implement the 5 critical transformational steps you will have extraordinary returns. 

So, how confident are you in bringing them into your organisation? 

As you consider the opportunities and challenges you are currently facing, why not find out more about LEAD™ and how we may be able to help you? Our next program starts in November. To speak to one of the team, please contact us here.



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