This is a simple tool anyone can use to assess the state of the team regarding business readiness.

Studies indicate that a leading cause of strategy implementation failure is the lack of alignment of the leadership team. Typically, this means they are not aligned on the outcomes of the implementation and normally it’s because they’ve not talked about it in sufficient detail.

The first step is for the leader to facilitate a discussion to fully understand the implications of the project. How will it change workflow? Metrics? Behaviors? Sales? Market share? Innovation? Other topics? This drives to a deeper understanding of the structural nature of the change.

But what about the emotional side of the change? Once you’ve aligned on the outcomes, how does the team think the organization will respond? Front line employees? Middle managers? Themselves? Other stakeholders? This is where the change curve comes in handy. We ask the leadership team to plot the status of each of these groups on the curve. This generates dialog within the team about why, and ultimately leads to identifying actions to help prepare the organization for the change.

I use this now with all of my clients. They love the richness of the discussion and the results it drives. In one case, I did this for a client, and they in turn used it over and over throughout the following months to gauge how different groups were moving up the curve. The dialog it generated was quite helpful each and every time.

I’ve also found that in this age of virtual meetings, most platforms support this activity quite nicely. I recently did this for a client using Google Meets. I set up the curve on a Jamboard, and participants were able to easily plot their position on the curve. Afterwards, I was able to perform a simple cut-and-paste to capture our work into a PowerPoint.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article. Please go out to LinkedIn to add your comments.

Dedicated to your profitable transformation,

Steve

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