Have YOU clearly communicated to your company and each team what is the change they are expected to drive in the next 90 days?
In most startups, we have 2–8 quarters of funding left at any given moment of time. That’s it! We can’t really afford to have a quarter drive by us without maximizing our impact.
But surprisingly this happens way more than we like. A quarter passes by only for us to look back and realize we haven’t changed much for our customers or our business.
The heart of the issue is the human natural aversion of change that causes us to avoid it. Instead of committing to change we commit to actions and delivery. We create a false sense of progress that enables us to bypass the need to face the uncertainty and high failure rates that come with “change engineering”.
Change vs. action
Change = the new VALUE our products or services created for our customers or the business
Action = what we had to DO in order to create the new value
This means that…
Action — value =action :-(
We hate change
The first step in ensuring we are able to drive change is to accept the fact that as humans we hate change and the uncertainty it brings. Change = threat!
So how can we drive change?
Start with change
To ensure we are optimizing for a change instead of avoiding it we need to create a “change habit” to bypass our natural aversion of it.
This means we need to inject change as a requirement in our planning process. Don’t assume you’re doing it. On the contrary, assume you’re avoiding change and start every planning session with 3 questions in the following order:
- What CHANGE are we driving for our customers or our business?
- What NEW VALUE will we need to generate to drive the desired change?
- What ACTIONS will create the desired value?
Commit to change not to action
Look at your plans for the next quarter. Do they look like this:
- Deliver version 2.0
- Release the new camera feature
- Redesign our landing pages
Or do they look like this?
- Ensure our customers can complete a purchase in under 60 seconds
- Increase the conversion of our landing pages by 40%
- Increase customer satisfaction by 25%
If your plans look more like the first list it means you’re committing to actions.
The only way to ensure we reach our goals is to deliver change. And the only way to deliver change is to start with it. To clearly define to the company and each team what is te change they are expected to create… And then send them on their way to figure out what actions they will need to take in order to drive that change.
If you don’t commit to change you risk losing another precious quarter.
What change needs to happen this quarter for you to reach your goals?