One of the favorite questions I got when talking to my teams was, “when will we be done with the changes?” I’m sure they didn’t quite like the answer I gave them: “Never, since the moment we stop changing is the moment we become irrelevant.” Sure, we would finish an initiative, but there would be another one ready to go.
If your company is anything like the ones I’ve worked with, you likely also hear that question a lot… “Transformation fatigue” has become a huge concern, one that I believe is misplaced; instead, employees should be concerned about leaders who are content with the status quo.
No, I am not crazy. I’ve been there and I get it. Most people have a not-so-hidden desire for things to stabilize and to continue going through the motions for as long as possible. But that is not the reality we have inherited. Of course, there will be areas in the company where change will be less prevalent, but those will be few and far between.
The world is changing, and so must we if we are to cope with what lies ahead. The CEO’s job is not to ensure stability for the employees, but to ensure that the company stays relevant while offering employees the opportunity to continuously learn to keep their skills relevant as well.
So, if you have to, invite your employees to an all-hands meeting and share this message with them. Give them the space to digest the information and talk among themselves for a few days. Let them voice potential grievances and concerns. Then bring them back to address those issues and to energize the heck out of your company with your vision for the future, explaining how embracing transformation as the new norm will allow you to get there.
Make transformation part of your strategic planning sessions. Make it part of your employees' individual learning plans. Make it part of every single opportunity you have to communicate with them. Start to embed change in your company’s DNA. And celebrate the fact you are doing exactly what must be done to build the foundation for success for several years to come.