7 steps to Transforming an Organization - Part VI of VII

BY ICFAI - 2016-11-18

Scoring short-term Wins

If a re-engineering effort delivers cost reduction as promised in a given time, then it is a win. Similarly, if a reorganization leads to reduction in the company’s new product development cycle from 10 months to 3 months, then it too is a win. These wins are short-term wins because they are attained in a relatively short period. Whatever the size of the organization. Some small wins are clearly necessary in the initial stage of transformation. According to Kotter, a short – term win has the following characteristics.

  1. It has to be clearly visible and verifiable. The result of this win has to be concrete and real; not subjective or similar to hype.
  2. The win should result in an improvement in the organization. There should not be any confusion over that aspect.
  3. The win should be relevant to the change effort.

Why are short – term wins important?

Scoring short-term wins is important for the following reasons:

  1. They reinforce that sacrifices made by the organization are worth the effort. The wins provide justification for short-term costs.
  2. Positive feedback that comes with these wins boosts the morale of the people attempting change, and improves their motivation levels.
  3. As short-term wins provide concrete data to test the vision against reality, they help fine-tune the vision and the strategies to achieve it.
  4. They provide evidence that clears the doubts of cynics, and undermines the resistance of people interested in maintaining the status quo. Improvements in performance reduce the obstacles that stand in the way of change.
  5. Short-term wins also step up the momentum of the change effort by converting people who were earlier undecided, to supporters of change, and transforming reluctant supporters into active helpers.

Identifying performance improvements that indicate short-term wins is often difficult as organizations rarely have information systems that track improvements accurately. So special care should be taken to generate and take note of short – term wins that are visible.

In case you missed it, my last post was 7 steps to Transforming an Organization part V of VII

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Acknowledgement: Leadership & Change Management book by ICFAI

Gemba Kaizen