STEP 7: Don't Let Up!
Consolidating gains and producing more change
Resistance is always waiting in the wings to re-assert itself. Even if you are successful in the early stages, you may just drive resistors underground where they wait for an opportunity to emerge when you least expect it. They may celebrate with you and then suggest taking a break to savor the victory.
The consequences of letting up can be very dangerous. Whenever you let up before the job is done, critical momentum can be lost and regression may soon follow. The new behaviors and practices must be driven into the culture to ensure long-term success. Once regression begins, rebuilding momentum is a daunting task.
In a successful major change initiative, by step 7 you will begin to see:
- More projects being added
- Additional people being brought in to help with the changes
- Senior leadership focused on giving clarity to an aligned vision and shared purpose
- Employees empowered at all levels to lead projects
- Reduced interdependencies between areas
- Constant effort to keep urgency high
- Consistent show of proof that the new way is working
A Long Road
Leadership is invaluable in surviving Step 7. Instead of declaring victory and moving on, these transformational leaders will launch more and more projects to drive the change deeper into the organization. They will also take the time to ensure that all the new practices are firmly grounded in the organization’s culture. Managers, by their nature, think in shorter timeframes. It is up to leaders to steer the course for the long-term. Without sufficient and consistent leadership, the change will stall, and succeeding in a rapidly changing world becomes highly problematic.
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