Unveiling the story behind success.

How to effectively implement successful changes?

We, as humans, constantly run for every sense of comfort. For predictability and for sureness of tomorrow. We look for a sense of safety. We look for peace of mind, which will allow us to look inside ourselves and spend some time on … digging deeply and reflecting.

Moreover,  as leaders, we run for meticulous planning and achieving outcomes. We value accountability and commitment, which contribute to us being great employees and leaders. Would you agree?

Last week we had the pleasure of hosting a female global HR partner. A very nice, open-minded and experienced professional came to gain some insight into how exactly we implement changes in our branch, that we are so effective?  By the way - isn't this question alone, directly from the Headquarter, a sign of appreciation and recognition? Following AGTs` I will say: “definitely YES  from me”!

So, she made me and my Team think and reflect upon the factors that contributed to our outstanding efficiency in implementing multiple changes over  the last 3 years? Actually, this is not an easy question at all. What came out from our fruitful discussion, as a common conclusion from within the Team include:

1.   Transparent and two-way communication
2.   Clearly defined goals
3.   Agile decision making and flexibility
4.   Unwavering commitment and driving forward orientation
5.   People-matter approach
6.   Playing as a Team
7.  Developing teams

In other words, it can be said: P (people) + P (performance) winners = long term results edge. Performance through people. Transforming human capital into competitive advantage.

There was one more crucial observation regarding key success factors in our change management.
It is about permanent out-of-comfort-zone presence. As soon as we all accept one of the most popular truths about change: “the only thing that is certain in life is change”, we come to another that  one needed to be tamed and implemented: “there is no comfort in the development zone, nor development in the comfort zone”. All the progress is made outside the comfort zone.

It seems  so obvious and so very well known to everyone that every leader should be familiar with such an approach. However, believe me, thighs work differently in real life and in a competitive landscape.  We are all somewhat lazy and restrained from going an extra mile. Am I right? This is an example of cutting – edge showcase and tangible competitive advantage. Otherwise all companies would always be successful … .

My leadership style is based on encouraging the Management Team to go out of their comfort zones,day by day.

I prompt them to do uncomfortable things that they might find challenging and difficult. These out-of-comfort- zones areas differ depending on who we talk to. Sometimes, it is about extremely pragmatic issues like: meeting deadlines or being punctual whereas the other time, it is about motivating others and giving positive feedback. The last one can be a challenge in our European culture. I tell you. In my opinion this continuous out of comfort zone presence is a distinctive organizational signature of our company. Which I am, honestly, proud of.

Following this path is definitely more of  a strategic foresight than a short – gap measure. All above is nothing revelatory. These are the  truths widely known. But ... try to put them into living practice!  No matter what it takes, don`t give up. It is worth it!

At the end of the day, when you reflect upon all the effort you know that it will not go unnoticed.

High expectations are the key to absolutely everything.”

- Sam Walton,
CEO of Walmart