“Business as usual” is a thing of the past. In the aftermath of budget cuts, furloughs, and layoffs that changed the way most organizations conduct business, the urgent questions facing executives, business owners, and managers are, “How do we effectively position ourselves for sustainable success? And how do we do so in an environment of tight budgets?”
The economic downturn has provided a unique opportunity for organizations to (1) take a close look at what they are doing, how they are doing it, and why they are doing it, and then (2) either re-affirm the path they are on or choose a new one. Most individuals understand that because the way we do business has been altered drastically, workplaces necessarily have undergone substantial changes. While they don’t like many or most of the adjustments that have occurred as a result of economic uncertainties, employees are less resistant to workplace changes than they have been in the past. However, the current window of opportunity is closing quickly: by the time the economy turns around, it will have slammed shut. That is, as conditions begin to improve, many employees are likely to conclude – incorrectly – that “business as usual” has been restored, and that previous practices will return as well. Thus the flexibility and understanding they exhibited will disappear, past positions again will become entrenched, and employees will be very resistant to change.
What this scenario means is that right now you truly have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to purposefully examine who you are as an organization and how you want to operate. I call the process of making a purposeful choice and embarking on the journey to achieve this vision Organizational Renaissance™. Renaissance may be defined as a renewal of life or interest, a re-birth. It aptly describes the choice facing organizations today: will they take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence to examine their purpose and act on their findings, or will they allow it to pass them by? Will they choose to thrive in the coming years, or will they settle for mere survival?
If you are serious about seizing the current short-term opportunity to focus on elements that will enable you to engage in your own Organizational Renaissance™, you may want to consider six critical success factors that will help your organization thrive. While these factors do require changes in behavior, they can be implemented with little or no financial cost.
1. Fully successful employees
2. Courageous leaders
3. Building community
4. Empowering choices
5. An appreciative culture
6. Tools and practices that engage and retain employees
I will be covering these critical success factors in more detail in future posts. Until then, I invite you to let us know what your organization is doing to re-create or re-energize itself!
© 2009 Pat Lynch. All rights reserved.