About face!

Here’s a scenario that might sound familiar. Times are difficult at your company. The turnaround plan you developed last year was just right for the needs of the organization-or so you thought-but for some reason, it’s just not going anywhere. The plan is under funded and under resourced, momentum has slowed to a crawl, and stakeholder enthusiasm has waned. You even detect the beginnings of hallway grumbling. What should you do-hold fast or scrap everything in favour of a new plan?

Now is the time to plumb the depths of your resourcefulness and reach for a flexible leadership style. First, repeat after me: The greatest plan, unimplemented, is not worth the paper it’s written on. Your objective is to get things done-even if it requires undoing a lot of previous effort. Letting go of preconceived notions is the first order of business, but it’s sometimes the hardest thing to do. The current plan might indeed be the best one for your company, but if you appear to be closed to alternatives, that could sound the plan’s death knell. Here are some things you can do to show that you’re open to change-if it’s in the right direction.

Lay the foundation. An important element of success will be the foundation you lay for change. Begin to “unfreeze” the environment that is set on the current plan. Point out changes in the market that could impact your strategy. Highlight competitors’ actions that demonstrate their adaptability. Collect examples of the failures that can be attributed to unwillingness to change. You should consider all your constituencies when devising communiqu