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Pendulum of Change In the New Economy

During this economic downturn it’s hard to focus on change initiatives, but the fact of the matter is companies and individuals are changing everyday.

The change I am talking about are the ones your company needs in order to sustain its competitive edge and growth when the economic pendulum swings back the other way. The economy will turn around but it’s the company that’s prepared for change that will be one the leaders in the new economy.

Some companies are doing very well in the current economic recession. But why are they so successful?

Five reasons come to mind:

I. They recognized change was the life blood of their organization.
II. They embraced change and made sure their people did too.
III. Their products and quality evolved and held it to a higher standard.
IV. They made the hard decisions early on to be efficient and eliminate waste. (money, resources)
V. They have a strong and complementary corporate culture. One that fostered and encouraged promotions from within, ideas and suggestions from the bottom up, and recognized and rewarded good work.

What can companies do to position themselves for the pendulum of change in the new economy?

Emulate: Copy from the companies that are successful. It may require swallowing your pride, but it beats closing the doors.

Change the Corporate Culture: Terrance Deal and Allan Kennedy suggest five reasons for culture change:

1. The companies’ strong values are obsolete for the changing environment.
2. The industry is very competitive and changes very rapidly.
3. The company is mediocre or worse.
4. The company will join the ranks of the larger firms.
5. The company is small but growing rapidly.

Set Goals: More difficult the goals, better the performance. Goals are only effective if they are difficult and challenging.

Motivate and Train Managers: mangers need to learn how to recognize and expect excellence from their employees.

Fear of the Unknown: Don’t fear the unknown! Take change in small incremental steps. As you gain success you gain momentum.

The five steps are only a primer and as a company you must be committed to change and success, after all it’s for your survival.

Anthony J Jackson is a management consultant and can be reached at

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