To Achieve Results, You Have to Make Your Case for Change

Executing a new strategy is a big change for an organization and, by the way, change is hard.  So successful execution is really hard.  Therefore, to get one step closer to successful strategy execution, it is essential that your organization’s leadership set out the case for change that everyone understands and can rally around.

A good way to start making this case for change is to define your organization’s “as is” state and the “to be” state your strategy is designed to move you toward.  A rather simple way to do this is to think of the top five to seven areas of key importance for your organization, where you are in each of them and where you need to be to succeed. 

Strategic Change Agenda

By doing this, you will create a “strategic change agenda” for your organization that will help communicate the case for change.  An example of strategic change agenda is provided in the figure below.

Strategic Change Agenda

The change agenda comes in a pretty simple format.  It usually has about 7 to 10 business areas (middle column) in which your organization believes it must change.  The left column describes either the “as is” or past state of your organization in the business area.  The right column describes the state to which your organization wants to move to—the “to be” state—in the indicated business are.  The strategy is how you will get there.

As you can see, the change agenda is a great tool for communicating the case for change.  It fits on one page, is easy to understand, and covers enough ground that everyone in your organization should be able to see how implementing the strategy will (positively) affect them. 

As long as the changes are articulated in a manner that won’t offend any particular department or function, the change agenda will be a helpful tool in gaining consensus around the need to implement your strategy.