Many factors affect shifts and transformations within a contracting company. As your position evolves—job changes, job promotions, and more responsibilities—your involvement in the business decisions also evolves. Your leadership skills, or lack thereof, play an extraordinary role in your success. In addition to your individual involvement, there are a variety of external and internal factors that impact change. Consider how the economy, politics, government, and globalization have changed the construction industry over the past 10 years.
Think of a specific change you have dealt with as a contractor. How did you handle the change? Were you reacting to the situation or did you take a proactive role in the situation? Was the change forced on you or did you push for the change? How did you lead within the situation? Times of change are where you must step-up as a leader.
WHAT’S YOUR SITUATION?
We all know that change is the only constant in life. But, when this is applied to changes within our companies, our daily work behaviors, or our work processes, that change is a bit harder to digest. As a leader, evaluate your contracting business. Which situation best describes your business?
- You’re a successful contractor looking to take your business to the next level.
- You’ve had a decline in your contracting business the past several quarters and need to get your business back on track.
- You’ve been at a plateau with no real growth or decline.
COMPLETE YOUR DUE DILIGENCE
Have you evaluated how you will actually make these changes? Change doesn’t just happen. As a leader, complete the due-diligence and consider what is involved with the change.
- Consider the capital, budget, and team you currently are using. How must those resources be reallocated to meet new or differing organizational demands? Change is not synonymous with additional resources. It is likely that your company must use the current resources to accomplish these changes.
- Consider how your employees will handle the change. Welcome dialogue, questioning, and examining from the team. Invest in your team during these times of change. Communication is necessary in fostering awareness and acceptance with the team.
- Understand that conflict will arise with any change. Anticipate and know how you will handle the conflict that may arise during implementation.
- Develop a plan for executing the change prior to implementation. Consider the value in creating SMART goals to help you achieve the desired change. Remember goals should be specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and timely.
HOW TO LEAD DURING TIMES OF CHANGE
Though the definition of change is quite basic, it is a phenomenon that is extremely difficult to accept—now try to implement it. Change is often uncomfortable but pivotal in the life of a contractor. But how can you, as a contractor, practically manage change? Here is a step-by-step approach to change management for a business leader.
- List anticipated changes. Do you foresee any changes coming to the contracting world due to future regulations, industry shifts, or changes in governmental policies? Are there any changes you want to see in your business, your operations, or your service offering?
- Discuss your list of changes with the team. Keep your key employees and other leaders within your company informed and engaged during the change process. Brainstorm and get their professional opinions on these changes.
- Evaluate the impact these changes may have on your contracting business. Are there additional resources you need to invest in, do you need to alter your pricing models, will your revenue generation be impacted, etc. Understand the business side of the change.
- Once deemed appropriate for your business model, implement the change according to your strategy.
Change is difficult. During the process, evaluate what works well for your organization. Also, keep track of the growing pains you experience. These are critical insights for future changes and serve as a learning tool to improve your leadership skills. Visit www.cogentanalytics.com for powerful solutions regarding business management for contractors. ■
About the Author
Sarah Skidmore develops strategic marketing, offers business insights, and provides innovative approaches to revenue generation. Sarah works with B2B markets including construction, medical and pharmaceutical, food and beverage, consumer products, and more. She serves as a keynote speaker at international conferences and universities. Connect with Sarah on LinkedIn or at 757.285.8802.
Modern Contractor Solutions, September 2017
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