Placing a big bet on a completely new direction for your organization can create a lot of anxiety...
I remember the sweaty palms and sleepless nights launching a “make or break” offering for our organization that required a big shift in how we did things. As I tried to confidently persuade everyone we were on the right track, I worried, "Why aren’t we moving faster?” “What if we fail”? "How can I make sure we get results?"
If you’re like many CEOs and boards I talk to who are in this situation, you may have found that STARTING something new is actually easy!
But SHIFTING and taking an established organization an entirely NEW direction is HARD. And if the STAKES ARE HIGH it’s even harder! While YOU may have recognized that your organization needs to make a shift, taking a new strategy to market is a team sport.
You need to get a lot of people ALIGNED and prepared to take ACTION if your strategy is going to be successful:
✔ Your leadership team
✔ Your board of directors
✔ Your employees
✔ Your partners
✔ Your funders
✔ And your customers, those you aim to serve.
Leading a high stakes strategy can be exciting and energizing. But it can also be FRUSTRATING ...and EXHAUSTING... and a bit DAUNTING.
It means dealing with unending questions and sometimes even questioning yourself.
YOU may be feeling the URGENCY to move fast and seize windows of opportunity, but may be getting questions: “What are we doing this for?” “What about the risks?” "Are you SURE this is going to work?"
I understand. Over my career, in working with Fortune 500 companies, non-profits and associations, I’ve launched new products and services, new programs and brands, and entirely new companies. And while there were many successes -- sometimes It could get pretty bumpy: Commitments were missed, people got frustrated... credibility was lost.
This happens to many organizations--- large and small -- and it’s a shame.
When I reflected on the challenges that leaders of established organizations have when introducing a high stakes strategy, I realized they were often making common mistakes. They were frequently underestimating what it takes to change direction and inspire a lot of people to take action together.
SO HOW DO YOU AVOID THESE COMMON MISTAKES?
- How can you navigate when there are so many unknowns?
- How do you make sure people are ready to take action WITH you?
- How can you avoid running into potholes down the road?
- How do you build confidence in your new direction -- even when you don't have all the answers?
The good news is this –The keys to getting traction when you change direction and introduce a new strategy are not magic! In fact, they are straightforward --but often skipped! But when they are applied systematically, they work.
✔ People know what you’re trying to achieve and how it aligns with your mission.
✔ People know what to do and are prepared to take action.
✔ People are less fearful, even when uncertainty may continue.
✔ Expectations are aligned.
✔ Outcomes are consistently delivered.
And YOU are able to more confidently lead and build a more resilient organization—despite the risk. You’re able to turn “what if’s” into what‘s possible.