Keeping your eye on the prize during large-scale, strategic or transformational change is essential. In these types of efforts, we’re usually talking about multi-dimensional changes to some combination of strategy, process, technology, people, and organizational structure. Complex changes like these require time, sequencing, reviews, and resources, so they don’t happen in a month or two.
Yet keeping an eye on the prize — or practicing focused patience – can prove quite difficult for many leaders of strategic change. Pressures from shareholders or boards, internal competing demands or even self-imposed pressure can tempt leaders to call for quicker execution and results. As author Harold Sirkin and his team point out in their Harvard Business Review article entitled, “The Hard Side of Change Management,” companies wrongly assume that the longer an initiative carries on, the more likely it is to fail.
But the facts tell us — successful change isn’t necessarily quick change. And transformational change — the kind that changes behaviors and cultures — doesn’t happen in the span of a 10K report.
So to practice focused patience, I recommend leaders at all levels remember 6 essential activities explained in this video.