So – your company has gone through its first Business Storm Cycle, and come out the other side. You survived the Tornado of hypergrowth and booming sales, and all the chaos that created. You experienced the pendulum swing of the Avalanche, your downturn phase where your costs kept rising and your margins were shrinking. Now you’re in your consolidation phase, and making the necessary changes in your people, processes, and IT systems to get ready for the next cycle.
Expect resistance from your people, and be prepared for it. Humans don’t like change; it makes them uneasy and insecure. Even when the new way of doing something is demonstrably better, it’s not necessarily immediately easier or more comfortable. When you go through this process, expect your staff, especially your leadership team, to be opposed to making substantive changes to how things are done and by whom. They’ll be looking for the simple, quick-fix answer: “We just have this one problem. Let’s fix that instead of making this so complicated.” You will also encounter folks who really want that black-box, magic-bullet solution to all their problems. After all, we live in a technology-laden era where we’ve been taught to always lean toward new and better technology as the answer to our business dilemmas. But there’s no simple way to rejigger your out-of-alignment systems – no magic bullet, and no quick fix. No new software package or piece of electronic equipment by itself can achieve the transformation you need. That requires leadership.
Now your job is to coach your team through the process and get them on board. Don’t forget that while you are creating your new IT design, you also have the opportunity to build the corporate culture that will have what it takes to lead you into the new company you’re building. You’ll need to build a coalition across the entire organization for the long-term transformation you’re seeking, and it’s going to take some time.
Reinventing your company in a scalable way isn’t a quick-fix magic formula for success. It’s not going to be fast, and it’s not going to be easy. But when you finish, you’ll be in a much better place to withstand a Tornado during your next round of growth.