It’s been a few weeks now since the SiriusDecisions Summit in San Diego. That means you’ve gone back to a whole bunch of existing plans and priorities that probably don’t leave much room for adding “sweeping organizational change” to the list. The trouble is, it will take serious change to adopt some of the best new ideas shared at Summit. Right now, you are faced with a choice: Is it ok to go back to what you know, because it’s hard to do something new, or were you inspired enough by the stories of success to make real change?
Here are some ways to think about bringing new ideas to life in your organization. With any luck, not to mention some perseverance, you’ll be sharing your own success stories at next year’s Summit.
Change happens faster when leaders make room for it. Everyone on your team is already too busy, and there are no new resources. Start with that assumption. There will only be room for change if leaders identify where the team can make space for new work. Give those who can deliver change the opportunity to do it right. Don’t make new ideas a nights-and-weekends project. Show real support by providing the latitude to stop doing what isn’t delivering well now. Don’t forget to consider the skills and process changes that come along with change, or risk having the old ways come back.
Make friends with data and insights as part of the daily workflow. Make no mistake: Insight is the engine of smarter selling, marketing and product innovation. Insights make room for change if you let them. The companies that won ROI Honors and shared their stories at Summit, including CDW, Dell, LinkedIn, Pegasystems and Siemens PLM Software, all relied on prospect, customer and/or partner insights to improve their execution. Clients tell us that the hard part of leveraging insights isn’t creating them, as many might expect. Instead, the challenge is embedding the use of insights into planning and execution in a consistent way. Look for a few places to incorporate insights into planning, and see what happens. It’s the best method for freeing up time to make change, because insights credibly define what to stop doing and offer guidance for prioritizing what to start.
Design organizational structure for productivity, not activity. Many Summit success stories, not to mention the SiriusDecisions models and frameworks shared at Summit, described organizational structures that allow productivity to flourish based on an economy of coordinated execution and brutal internal honesty. Each ROI winner focused on growth goals and the most efficient way to get there, and not on justifying internal silos. Many also invested in sales and marketing operations functions to support the infrastructure, insights and reporting that make execution consistently productive. Begin your journey to change with an open mind as to what could be, and what it will take to get there. Willingness to admit the current state isn’t good enough, plus courage to be open to real answers about how to make it better, are the keys to taking what you heard at Summit and bringing those ideas to life for your business.