How Much Change is Right for Our Organization? – “We Don’t Have the Resources” Should Never Be Accepted Without Question

It’s a good idea to have some sense of the scale of resources you have “in play” and do a reality check against what your organization can really afford. There is no right or final answer to this question. Your estimation of how much effort you can expend and how much uncertainty your organization can absorb will always be affected by your needs (the size, urgency and risk profile of what you might invest in), the current competitive climate, how easily you can redirect resources, etc.

In a company with unconstrained resources, or where constant innovation is critical (e.g, high-tech, pharmaceuticals) you may have the means and/or the need for a large ongoing change portfolio. More stable industries or companies with less “excess capital” will want to, or have to, aim lower. In defining a rough size of your portfolio, don’t feel you need to be locked in. The flexibility principle of Change Leadership should be a reminder that the comment, “We don’t have the resources” should never be accepted without question. Yes, there are always constraints. However, a smart leader who recognizes a critical need will look for ways to get the people, money, and talent needed if the problem or opportunity warrant.

One other caveat: There’s a pronounced tendency among leaders to pull back on new initiatives when times are tight. This may be excellent and prudent resource management, but may also be exactly what not to do if your goal is to prepare your organization to handle a new wave of growth.

– Excerpt from Pivotal Thought Leadership, Change and Constancy.  For more on the foundation concepts of Change Leadership, please review Change Leadership: A New Standard for 21st Century Leaders

About Pete Pande

Pete Pande, President of Pivotal Resources Inc., is a seasoned consultant in process improvement, organization change and Lean Six Sigma initiatives (he is one of the recognized "experts" in the field). He has provided senior executive training and deployment consulting services in business improvement and Six Sigma efforts for such companies as GE Capital, Sun Microsystems, Cendant, Cisco Systems, Starwood Hotels, Honeywell, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and many others. For more information, please visit
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