confronting changeI recently read a book titled Our Iceberg is Melting by John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber that chronicles change and success criteria for confronting change. The book uses a scenario of penguins’ iceberg. One penguin discovers that their iceberg is melting and then has to convince an entire colony of his findings. More so, they then have to devise a plan that will save the colony and ensure they have a safe home for the fast approaching winter. It was a quite simple scenario to illustrate how the steps in the change process transcend through any change.

So I ask you, is your iceberg melting? If your business is not growing in an ever changing economy, you’re actually making less money with each passing year. So the answer to that question is yes. Your iceberg is melting.

The book identifies eight steps of change. In an effort to not make this feel like a book report, I’d like to talk about the first three steps.

1. Create a sense of urgency. In the scenario of the penguins, they had to create urgency for the colony to buy in to the fact that the iceberg was indeed melting. When you’re a small company and perhaps the sole decision maker, the buy in is your own. Some might say that of course you have buy-in it was your idea, your company. Sure you think it’s a great idea but have you created the sense of urgency for action? Ideas don’t come with the power of change without action. You have to decide that this action is critical to the success of your business, project, sales, etc. and create a plan for action.

2. Build your team. Find the right resources with the right skills and start delegating. This applies to everyone, even those companies of one. We’ve talked about this before. If you haven’t already read my blog post ‘Building Your Team’ check it out for an introduction on why it’s important for small companies to outsource.

3. Develop the change vision and strategy. Kotter and Rathgeber say, “Clarify how the future will be different from the past and how you can make the future a reality.” I love the statement of clarifying how your future will different from your past. That’s so powerful. You have to envision the results of the change.

If you’re anything like me, you may reverse steps one and three. I have to understand the value of the change before I can create buy-in. We all know that there’s no one size fits all to running a business. There are however, proven steps that if implemented correctly will provide results in any business.

Call to Action: Identify one change that if implemented today would change your business forever. Write down the specific results. Now try walking through the steps outlined.