The process of intentional change for business, brands — and people is a simple four-step process. First, you explore where you are. Second, you decide where you want to go. Third, you determine strategies and habits that lead you to your destination. Fourth, you implement.
It really is that simple. On paper. In real life there are obstacles, habits and fears. There are prices to be paid and sacrifices to be made. In real life, intentional change is not so easy.
There is an additional step, a prequel step, to take before making intentional change that will help make the rest of the steps easier: destruction.
You must first destroy those things that are holding you in place. Our lives are constructed to maintain the status quo; where we are. Our habits, our relationships and our schedules all reinforce maintaining what we currently do. The same is true in our business lives; we are held in place by policies and expectations that lock us in comfort zones and make our businesses vulnerable to disruption. To make intentional change, we need to destroy some of the bonds that hold us.
To burn down what is holding you back, you must be willing to light the match.
Abandon Yesterday. Thrive Tomorrow.
Change is hard. That’s why the future can look so much like the past. And why businesses, brands and the leaders behind them often lose their edge. Peter Drucker, widely regarded as the father of modern business management knew this and recommended that all leaders commit to a brutal yet liberating change policy:
“The first step for a change leader is to free up resources that are committed to maintaining things that no longer contribute to brand performance and no longer produce results. Maintaining yesterday is always difficult, extremely time-consuming and risky.
Maintaining yesterday always commits the organization’s scarcest and most valuable resources–and above all, its ablest people–to nonresults. Yet doing anything differently–let alone innovating–always creates unexpected difficulties. It demands leadership by people of high and proven ability. And if those people are committed to maintaining yesterday, they are simply not available to create tomorrow.
The first change policy, therefore, has to be organized abandonment. The change leader puts every product, every service, every process, every market, every distribution channel, every customer, and every end use on trial for its life. And does so on a regular schedule.”
Destruction. Abandonment. Change. Now is the time.
At The Blake Project we are helping clients from around the world, in all stages of development, redefine and articulate what makes them competitive at critical moments of change. Please email us for more.
Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Growth and Brand Education