For some people its hard to let go of the old practices, the old ways "this is the way its been done for years" "there is still value in this ABC product, we just need to re train our sales staff".
Sure change for change sake is stupid and I'm not advocating this, but I do feel that a lot of organizations today miss the boat. In some cases the boat has not only left the dock, its left the harbor.
The key to staying focused on what you need to change is to listen to what your customers are saying. Don't just get the information second hand, get out there and feel the waters. Don't ask to be taken out to see your top customers, see a good spread, the happy, the unhappy, the disillusioned and the down right angry. hear what they all have to say.
Once you know the direction that you need to move in, do it quickly.
Communicate the vision to everyone. get everyone on board, Create a culture of change.
Communication about change does get a lot more challenging as a company gets larger. It’s one thing if you are the owner of a two-hundred-person machine tool company to walk into work one day, call a meeting, and say, “OK, everyone, I just got back from a sales trip, and guess what, we’ve got brutal competition from a really innovative new company in Hungary. Things are going to have to change around here.” It’s another thing entirely to make the case for change to a company with a hundred thousand people in multiple business units in multiple countries.
In big companies, calls for change are often greeted with a nice head fake. People nod at your presentations and pleasantly agree that given all the data, it sure looks like change is necessary. Then they go back to doing everything they always did. If the company has been through enough change programs, employees consider you like gas pains. You’ll go away if they just wait long enough.
This pervasive skepticism is all the more reason that anyone leading a change process must stay far away from empty slogans and instead stick to a solid, persuasive business case.
Become a change agent, if you cant then find some one who is a true change agent and employ them to work with you on the change's you see.
A Change agent are the true believers who champion change, know how to make it happen, and love every second of the process. They’re typically brash, high-energy, and more than a little bit paranoid about the future. Very often, they invent change initiatives on their own or ask to lead them. Invariably, they are curious and forward-looking. They ask a lot of questions that start with the phrase “Why don’t we…?”
These people have courage—a certain fearlessness about the unknown. Something in them makes it OK to operate without a safety net. If they fail, they know they can pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and move on. They’re thick-skinned about risk, which allows them to make bold decisions without a lot of data.
If this is not you, then find a person who is and sit them next to you in the organization. These people will be your mentor and advisory, your energizer and visionary during the change process.
Next you must start to uncover and remove the "resisters". In every major change there is a core of people who absolutely will not accept change, no matter how good your case. Either their personalities just can’t take it, or they are so entrenched—emotionally, intellectually, or politically—in the way things are, they cannot see a way to make them better.
These people usually have to go, even if they are your star performers.
Maybe that sounds harsh, but you are doing no one a favor by keeping resisters in your organization. They foster an underground resistance and lower the morale of the people who support change. They waste their own time at a company where they don’t share the vision, and they should be encouraged to find one where they do. I have seen managers hold on to resisters because of a specific skill set or because they’ve been around for a long time.
Resisters only get more diehard and their followings more entrenched as time goes on. They are change killers; cut them off early.