Leading a Successful Transformation


CHS TransformationI have a friend who says the easiest CEO job in the world is leading a turn around. Why? Because at the point where something needs to be turned around, there isn’t any resistance. You just need to figure out what to do – and do it!

My friend isn’t crazy or lucky. What she is, is a great communicator.

When everyone understands the need to change, then a transformation is simple.

Sometimes the need for change is just compelling: “if we keep losing money we will go out of business”.  It doesn’t get much clearer: no organization, no job. Then it’s simply: “Tell what I need to do to keep my job!”

For the organizations I’ve run, figuring out how to stop from going out of business has been pretty simple: stop wasting money; focus on the core business; learn how to sell more.

The challenge has been communicating the need to do it. Why? Because nobody trusts transparency when it’s only used to make someone change. So organizations who have suffered without transparency, without trust, without empowerment struggle the most when all of a sudden the need for change is thrust upon them.

Here’s a simple lesson I’ve learned. Don’t save open, transparent communication for a rainy day. Use it always. Then, when a business is running well, it will run even better. And when a business needs to transform, the need to change will be easily understood.

Leadership is communication. So are transformations.