“Vision without action is a hallucination”, dixit Manfred Kets de Vries. So the best advice on change to any decision maker is fairly straightforward: get it done.
Change. Change your mind, your vision, your business model, your people, your market, your world. And when it’s done, change again. Change on, change further, change permanently. Change big. As big as you can.
Look at the disrupters. The start-ups. The techies. The inventors. The geeks with a plan. They live and breathe change. They are not out just to change markets. They want to change the world.
They don’t dilly-dally about change. They want to change big. They don’t care how often they have to change to achieve that. They change tack in weeks if they feel they need to.
They turn their whole company around in the time other businesses are pondering about a new brand guide. They change intuitively. They see the need for change, so they change. No questions asked, but one: how fast can we do this?
Try, fail, learn, try again - that’s their change management. And as they are taking charge of today’s business that has become today’s change management. Call it agile, scrum or a new management buzz. It is about attitude. They embrace change, jumping to any opportunity to make change work for them.
Change management now is about changing while everything is hunky-dory, moving fantastically well, smooth as silk. When everybody is getting just that tiny touch more relaxed about their business, effecting your business).
That’s the moment to call your team in and tell them: “Guys, let’s think about change”.
Will they look stunned, amazed, taken aback? Is someone saying: “Change? Again? Why?” If so, that’s all the reason you need right there to challenge them to change - yes, again. To make them change their views on the business as they had when they came in this morning. To change their minds about business like usual.

Change your questions

We are living in an era of accelerating disruption; no one is immune. This world needs different answers and they start by asking different questions.
From your core: What are your own and your companies values? And are you being true to them? What are you pretending not to know? On what topic have you, your team, your company have been something of an ostrich? Which things should be stopped today, this afternoon, now?
On your business: What’s the potential upside? What’s the effort involved? What’s the likelihood of success? What’s the strategic value?
For your customers: What do they want, really? As a person. How can we improve the customer journey? What is true value to them? How can we enable that?
On your execution: How do we integrate techies with markies? How can we cut back on our get-to-market time by 25%, 50%, 75%? How agile are we really? How can we prepare for serendipity? How can we become more divergent?
On your operation: How can we move to VR and holoportation technology to meet people and cut back on plane travel? What about robots, how can we fit those in our marketing departments? Do we still need showrooms to sell our cars?
Step back. Look at your business, your market, your company like you are a start-up. Like all you have is just an idea and your investor’s money is running out with every day you waste on bringing that idea to life and to market. There is nothing more exhilarating than bringing that sense of urgency to work every day. It’s just the fuel you need to get change in gear and keep it moving at speed.

Change the usual

Disrupt yourself. Disrupt your long term strategy by turning it into your short term strategy. Disrupt the idea that ‘doing well’ in today’s world will be enough to still be here in tomorrow’s world. Disrupt your comfort zone and that of the people around you. Disrupt all the time. Disrupt anything that is showing the vaguest semblance to business as usual.
Because Usual has left the building. Usual doesn’t work here anymore. It’s an unusual world and it will stay like that. So go change and keep changing from here on end, permanently, continuously, vigorously, relentlessly, happily.
And be unusual forever.

About the author:

Martijn Steur is an experienced commercial manager, consultant and entrepreneur specialised in strategy development and execution.
With a 15+ year background in developing High-Traffic Locations in as many different countries he has established a true global view.
He is a Certified Experience Professional – a practitioner and consultant on the strategic and tactical ways to help organisations improve their customer experiences and build their business.
In short: Creating Experiences, Propelling Business.