Change : How High Performing Organizations Handle Change With Very Little Disruption to Their Business

Bernhard Opitz

Bernhard Opitz is a Chief Operating Officer for the life sciences industries, and he works with senior leadership teams who want to grow from emerging entrepreneurial manufacturing companies to world-class global enterprises and market leaders.

To help you become a high-performing organization, he has outlined his 5-step process to engaging employees, improving productivity & sustaining improvements over the long haul.

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Leadership must create the conditions and culture for success especially during a time of change whether it’s due to a new business model or a disruptive product. These conditions are in place when all employees:

  1. Care about the business,
  2. Want to help the company achieve success
  3. Want the same results

Now, the alignment of all people in the company depends most strongly on the everyday culture within your organization.

Here are the 4 Key Cultural Elements All High-Performing Organizations Must Have -- And How Leadership Can Support Them

Key #1 Openness to Change

Change is a sign of life. A healthy company will always go through change as they realize new or improved products and processes or as they respond to external developments. All employees must embrace this thought in a high-performing organization. For every level of the organization there are easily accepted changes with primarily positive impacts. And, there are other changes that require challenging adjustments within individuals and groups.

A key element for change is continuous learning and personnel development. Leaders in a high-performing organization must coach their team members to be capable and ready for change, as well as demonstrate their own readiness for change. Every body must strive to be better than everyone else and better than himself or herself today.

Key #2 Openness for Debates

One person’s thought might create a great solution. But, for consistently best results all members of a team must interact to find the right path. Leadership has to encourage all employees to contribute to the company’s progress with their ideas. As an organizational leader you must play an active role in helping your team members feel comfortable in bringing forward new ideas, even when they differ from your own ideas and those of their peers.

Leadership must stimulate discussions by encouraging all input while holding back their own until needed. When the element of fear is taken out, the company gains the best value from its people – in a culture of open debate, followed by alignment in execution.

Key #3 Tolerance for Mistakes

A high-performing organization proves its value by striving for and achieving best results. So while still being realistic, the goals for all people must always be challenging. Striving for the best solution always carries risk. When a process fails, leadership must demonstrate tolerance for mistakes. 

This means there must be a careful balance.

Failures must be considered as opportunities for learning. It’s a way to help the organization change and improve. But it always has to be clear, that negligence is not acceptable.

Key #4 Responsibility for Results

People identify with the goals of their organization and their own individual goals when they understand the impact of their work on the business. This will help your team members become engaged and take responsibility for their work.

Organizations in all stages of company maturity, from start-up to global market-leader, can develop a culture with these key elements. With every person open to change, contributing their thoughts in debates without fear, knowing about the tolerance for mistakes and fully living their responsibility for results, your organization will have the foundation needed to become a high-performing organization.

Your employees will accomplish more, faster than they thought they could. And, your organization will be able to handle change with very little business disruption.

Copyright 2011 Bernhard Opitz

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