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Successful Change Management Strategies for Your Growing Business

Transcript 

Kathy (host): 

Well, hello there and welcome back to Help! My Businesses Growing, a podcast where we explore how to grow and build a business that is healthy and sustainable. I'm your host, Kathy Svetina. 

 

Kathy (host): 

When your business starts to grow, expect to make many changes in your operations. What worked when you started out may no longer apply to where you are in your business today, and of course where you want it to go. So you have to adjust systems and processes and how you think about your business. But changing how things are working can get really tricky because your business can suffer if the change is not planned well or implemented properly. 

 

Kathy (host): 

If you forget beyond systemic changes, there is a very human aspect of change, particularly how it will affect your employees. And if you forget that piece, you can get really, really painful. So how do you manage change within your organization? And how can you get your team and other stakeholders on board? What change management strategies can you employ to ensure the success of your growing business? 

 

Kathy (host): 

And just a quick reminder, all of the episodes on this podcast, including this one, come with timestamps for topics that we discuss and each one has its own blog post, so you can find all the links and the detailed topics in this episode's show notes.

 

Kathy (host): 

Our guest today is Nikki Rogers. She is a Transformation Coach and the CEO of Bladen Group. She's an experienced Management Consultant who has worked across multiple industries and is passionate about creating sustainable organizations through people-power change. Nikki is a proud alum of North Carolina A&T State University, and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. A Project Management Professional and a Change Management Advanced Practitioner. She's a graduate of Leadership Fairfax and serves as a board treasurer, a Washington Improv Theater. Nikki loves to read and travel and host the Women's Thriving in Business podcast. Join us.

 

Kathy (host): 

Welcome to the show, Nikki.

 

Nikki (guest):

Thanks for having me, Kathy. I'm happy to be here. 

 

Kathy (host): 

Sure. So companies that I come in are growing and there is a lot of change. And what I've noticed, there's usually two kinds of changes. There's this constant daily iteration of how we're doing things, and then there's the other side of change whereas more of a systemic change, which means we are going to be doing things differently from how it was done before. We're thinking about things differently as well, and this is where I see that things get muddy and can get muddy really, really fast. So just in as an example, when usually when I come in, there's not a lot of data-driven decisions. It's mostly done on gut feel and what they thought they should be doing.

Kathy (host): 

So when I come in, we're starting to use data to really drive those decisions. And of course, because we start changing how the business operates financially, which means that all of the other aspects of the business will change as a result- the operations, how we're hiring, the compensation of people, especially like the sales compensation.

 

Kathy (host): 

So there's a lot of systemic change. and frankly, that change should have happened probably in the past before, but it hasn't, so. 

 

Nikki (guest): 

Right. 

 

Kathy (host): 

The problem with that is that if that change's not planned well, and the management does not work on the human aspect of change, which a lot of them forget about, it can be really, really painful. So my question to you is, what exactly is change management? Why is it important and how it can help with this problem? 

 

Nikki (guest): 

Great question. Really, the essence of what it means to be in business really is around managing change and managing change well, and so I like to talk about change management as really moving through that valley between where you are right now and where you want to be in the and how do you help people do that? And you hit on that element about being human, right, About that human element to managing change.

 

Nikki (guest): 

So for example, a lot of organizations will just say, "Oh, we're updating our technology, we're upgrading our technology." And they think technology is going to fix everything, or they think coming in with dashboards and data is going to fix everything and they forget that they're humans that have to actually execute and make decisions. Even if you have the technology, even if you have data, humans still have to make the decisions. 

 

Nikki (guest): 

So I talk about change management is helping people understand the change that is happening. Being willing to make the change and then also giving them the ability to make the change. And we talk about this from a head, a heart, hands perspective. What is changing? Why are we changing it? And then how do I, as an individual, take part in the change? 

 

Nikki (guest): 

And I think a lot of times organizational leaders forget to drill down to that individual component. They come in and they announce something, "thou shalts". Now, be different, right? 

 

Nikki (guest): 

No. Something as small as changing where people sit. And these is, I think, pre-pandemic times, right? As something as small as changing the layout in the office. Well, yes, it might make things more efficient. It might be more visually pleasing, it might be more aesthetically feng shui. Whatever. But to that individual who's been sitting at that desk for, maybe it's six months, 18 months, sometimes it was 20-plus years, right? You're really taking away a piece of their identity- where they sit, who they sit next to. 

 

Nikki (guest): 

It starts at that granular of a level, but when you start thinking about how we, if when you're going into an organization and talking about how you change the way they fundamentally do business, you're talking about the identity of the organization. And so you really have to approach it from "This is who we are now as an organization. This is who we want to be in the future, and now let's manage the process of getting from here to there."

 

Kathy (host): 

I like to get really specific on this podcast, as my listeners know, and I like to get a lot into the tactics, into the weeds as well. So let's say that there's a business that it's going through this organizational change right now and they have kind of forgotten about the change management piece of it, so it's a little bit painful at this point. What is it that they could do to make this work for them? Is there a process that they can follow to kind of make things better? 

 

Kathy (host): 

And then after we're done talking about that, I would like to go and talk about what you can do when you know that the changes are happening, let's say six months from now, a year from now, and how do you prepare for that? But let's say right now you're in the weeds of it, you've kind of messed up a little bit. Is there a way to fix it? 

 

Nikki (guest): 

There's always a way to fix it. So I think back if you've already started making changes and started implementing some new ways of being, right, and if you're getting that pushback, you're going to get resistance. And you need to take a step back and see what is the problem. Is the problem that people aren't aware of the changes that are happening? Do they not understand what exactly is happening? 

 

Nikki (guest): 

So sometimes there's these big, corporate-wide efforts, right? But nobody understands. Nobody took the time to actually articulate what the change is. Like how is what we're doing, what is happening in the new world order different, fundamentally different from what we're currently doing?

Nikki (guest):

 So one, I think take a step back and explain exactly what the change is. So that's number one. And be honest and open. And again, if you're talking about fundamentally changing the way you do business, then you need to say, "Hey, we're changing the compensation structure. We're changing the reporting structure. We're going to change the organizational, the org structure here, and this is what it's going to mean to you." I think to stop, take a step back, explain what the change is. 

 

Nikki (guest): 

And then the next thing is, talk about why this change is important. Why it's important at the organizational level. Why support important at a divisional level? Why's important at a team level, and but, and then why is it important at an individual level? How does your contribution to this organization make a difference in how this change actually happens? 

 

Nikki (guest): 

And then the third piece is to give people the tools and resources that they need in order to make the change happen. And I think back to an example with a client that I was working with that were implementing a new processing system and the employees, the bulk of the employees use the system to do their work and they actually had production requirements. And so if you think about someone having to implement a brand new system, a brand new way of doing things, and they have production, I'm going to say production quotas, as far as their processing times and those types of things, what do you think they're most afraid of? They're afraid they're not going to hit their performance metrics.

 

Nikki (guest): 

So you gotta think back, "Okay, how do I help them learn the system?" So it's training, it's communication, but then "how do I adjust these performance criteria while they're in this transition phase so they're not afraid of doing new things," because they're going to get penalized. They actually need to be incentivized to try a new way and maybe lessen the production quotas for that period of time. That's just a small example.

 

Nikki (guest): 

But again, if you're thinking about, when you're talking about sales compensation for salespeople, you gotta incentivize them to want to go to the new way. So you gotta explain to them one, how to do it, but why this is going to be important to them and why this is going to be better for them in the long run, and not just be focused on why it's great for the organization, which is great, but people really care about what's in it for them.

Nikki (guest): 

You know, as I said, the three things, what's changing? Why are we changing? And then how do I as an individual make this work? I think those are the three things that leaders need to be focused on if they're in the midst of change. 

 

Kathy (host): 

And would this, would any of this change, if anything, if you are thinking of a big change, systemic change in next three to six months? Is there anything that you can do to prepare yourself and the employees so that it's a lot less painful in the future? 

 

Nikki (guest): 

Yeah, so start communicating. So start communicating from the very beginning and start asking questions again. Start talking about the change, and why this change is happening. Get feedback and input, because often when you are thinking at a leadership level, you're not the person who's doing the day-to-day, right? You're not the person who's going to, whose job is going to be impacted by this transition. So talk to those who are really going to be impacted by it and get their input, their feedback.

 

Nikki (guest): 

It can help you actually transition in a way that is going to be less painful. You can also start to cultivate champions. So you get a group of people who are the folks who are already going to be the cheerleaders, the organizers. They have a lot of influence in your organization. Get them on board and have them start talking about it. And so by the time you get to the point where you're actually making the change, but half of the battle's already done because you won their hearts and minds, now you just need to tell them what you need them to do. 

 

Nikki (guest): 

So I tell anyone, start early, communicate early and often be transparent about what's going on, and recruit those people who are going to, who are going to be the cheerleaders and the evangelists for the change that is happening.

 

Kathy (host): 

How would that translate into a small business environment where people don't have the 20 different heads in one division and teams in a. Let's focus on a small business when there's less than, let's say 50 employees, about 20, 30 employees when you're essentially the owner that's really driving this change. But how would you structure this change management in that type of, 

Nikki (guest): 

Yeah, great question. I think for that, again, pulling together, I'm going to say a committee, a task force, maybe there are four or five folks in that organization who are really influential. And that doesn't necessarily mean they're the leaders, but they're the people who get things done in the organization who everyone brings that new hire to, right? Because they know all the things and they really care about the organization. Get them on board, get them working as a part of what this transition looks like, and helping to plan it. 

 

Nikki (guest): 

I think the worst thing anyone can do is try to manage change all by themselves. There's not enough time in the day, there's not enough. You don't have enough mental capacity to do all of that stuff yourself because there's going to be so many moving parts because once the change happens, it kind of moves out of you. No longer control. It is now out in the universe and the people within the organization now are really the people who will make or break this change.

 

Nikki (guest): 

So I would say start with a small committee. Plan it. Again, be very clear, and I keep coming back to these three things. Be very clear about what's changing your timeline, why it's changing, being very transparent when things don't go as planned. Because nature of hoards a vacuum. If you do not communicate, people will make things up.

 

Nikki (guest): 

And so you have to communicate, communicate, communicate, and give people the tools that they need. Listen to those resistors, right? They're not always wrong. They may be identifying something that is a flaw in your plan, but listen to folks and then you gotta make a decision. At some point, it's not management by committee, so to speak, but you do want to take that input and then make the best decision you can at that time. But I would start with having a planning committee, listening to folks as they bring up challenges and issues. Don't just ignore them and say, "Oh, that will never happen."

 

Nikki (guest): 

No. Take a listen and, really identify and investigate whether that is going to actually be an issue. And then address it. But you know, communicate, communicate, communicate. I think that is always going to be your best answer is communication about what's going on. 

 

Kathy (host): 

And there's also this balance of waiting because you have, as an owner, you have that long-term vision and the commitment to the business. And then with the employees, they are the one that is driving this vision. You also have to weigh, you know, their opinions versus the, strategy, the long-term strategies that you have. It can get really difficult and complicated. So let's talk about this feedback and having conversations with your employees. Are there any particular questions that you can ask to get that feedback about the change? And how would that meeting look like? If you could walk us through. 

 

Nikki (guest): 

Right. And you know, there will be multiple meetings, right? So I think the first meeting would be to announce what is happening and the sooner in advance, you can do that, the better off you are and explain what you know at that moment.

 

Nikki (guest):

Again, you may be talking about an acquisition. You may be talking about selling your business. You may be talking about going after a different market or a different type of client. Start with what you know, like what are we trying to change? What are we trying to achieve? And what is our timeline? And you know, at that point you're asking for questions, right?

 

Nikki (guest): 

You're like, this is our vision. What questions do you have of me? I would tell people don't try to answer the questions right then because sometimes there's a lot of emotion that gets involved. You know, take questions. If there's something easy, you know, you can answer them. But you can say, "I'll take those questions back, and then we'll communicate what the responses."

 

Nikki (guest): 

The next meeting is you start to talk a little bit more about what the details of what this change is going to look like. Who is going to be involved, who are going to be the champions, the leaders, and how this is going to be communicated going forward? 

 

Nikki (guest): 

And then you start to talk about is there going to be training that's needed? Is it going to impact your job position or your job description? Is it going to impact your roles and responsibilities? Does it impact compensation? You start talking about what may be impacted by it, and again, link it back to what are the goals and what are the intended outcomes of this change. But it's going to be a series of conversations.

 

Nikki (guest): 

Create a list of FAQs that you can post on your internal website. Have lunch and learns again, depending on the size and scope of the change that you're making. Have lunch and learns. Have people who are kind of, again, these champions who are on call, who can ask, they can go to and ask questions, and who can articulate it in a little bit finer detail than you might have in a group meeting.

 

Nikki (guest): 

Go talk to, you say there's 30 people, you know, you probably have different teams. Go talk to those teams and have conversations because different teams may be impacted differently, again, depending on what the change is. 

 

Nikki (guest): 

And then have an open forum for feedback, whether it be a suggestion, email box, or just somewhere where people can ask their questions. They're not going to be shamed by their questions. There's not going to be in, you know, any kind of retribution or anything like that. They can send a question in. It can get added to the FAQs if it's something very specific to that individual person. There's almost nothing that is not applicable to someone else, right? That may be an individual person's concern, but it will address something that may come up later on with someone else. So it's a series. 

 

Nikki (guest): 

I would tell people change management is really a marathon because it's, it's not something that you just do one day and then it's done. It is a process and you really, the goal is to help people move from where they are now to where you want them to be as it relates to the change that you're implementing.

 

Kathy (host): 

I think that's, that's a good point of that. It's a process and what I've seen that a lot of owners struggle too is that they themselves are not really, they know there's going to be a change coming and they, let's say, know about three quarter 75% of the change, how it's going to look like in the new world. But that 25%, it could be that people's jobs are going to change, but they just don't know how that is specifically going look like just yet because the change needs to be implemented first. So how do you have those conversations with employees when you yourself are not really a hundred percent sure how the new world is going to look like?

 

Nikki (guest): 

Right. I think it's good to think about things in phases. So phase one of the change, phase two of the change, Phase three, right? We're going to get to the future in stages. . And so I think it's being honest and open about what you do know. Right. So in that scenario, you do know that job positions and roles and responsibilities may be impacted. You just don't know how yet. Be honest about that. This is going to impact some people's roles and responsibilities. That will be a phase two, phase three activity. 

 

Nikki (guest):

Until then, it's business as usual in this lane, right? And I think about the swim lanes, like what is changing? So everything's not changing all at once. There's going to be phases. There's going to be some key milestones that are along this journey. And if you think about it as if, when you're on a road trip, right? You're driving in the car, you have a kind of an idea of when you might need to stop for gas, right? But you don't know exactly. You just have a plan, right? You're going to stop for gas at some point iin the journey. 

 

Nikki (guest): 

You also know you're out here. You know, maybe it's very hot that day. You're running your air conditioning at some point. "Oh, maybe you might need cooler because you haven't put cooling in it for quite a while." So, I mean, if you think about it as a journey, you can plan for most things, but there's always going to be something that's unforeseen or you know what? There might be something that's really cool on this exit, and you just take a journey off of that exit because it seems really cool, right? And so you gotta think about it in that terminology. You know what you know, and then what you don't know. You just say, "Hey, these are the things I know right now. These are the potential things that might happen, and here's the timeline at which we start being concerned or worried about it." 

 

Nikki (guest): 

So I think that's the way you think of it as a phased approach and as a journey. It is a process. It is a journey. And then I think just having your, having the destination be very clear and be focused on that and then say, how we get there is going to morph as it needs to morph in order to actually achieve the outcome that we want to achieve.

 

Kathy (host): 

Yeah. Thinking about it in terms of that way, in terms of a road trip, it's very, very helpful because you might have a destined set destination, but there's so many other ways that you could get to. You can have roadblocks. Construction can happen. I mean, all sorts of things can give you curve balls, so you're going to have to navigate that. 

 

Kathy (host):

Let's talk a little bit about navigation when people are not completely on board with this, and what I've noticed is that there's usually, when change happens, there are some people that they're completely excited. They're like, "Yes, I want to do this, let's do this." And then there's people that are a little bit more, careful about it. We'll see how that goes. And then there's the third camp of people that's just completely, "This is terrible. I don't want to this." How do you manage those two? Obviously, the people that are completely on board, Yes, they're going to be your evangelist, but the people there are in the other two camps, that's a little bit more concerning, especially as a small business because you don't have that many employees in the business to begin with, and when you have people who are not on board with the change, or people who are struggling and don't want this change to happen for various reasons. How do you manage that? Do you have more meetings with them? Wh what do you do with that in that case? 

 

Nikki (guest): 

Right. I think one of the things is identifying what's causing the resistance. Is it that they don't know enough about the change? Is that they don't know enough about the ultimate outcomes. Do they not believe in the outcomes? Do they not believe in the vision that the leadership has set forward? Like identifying, especially those folks who are kind of wait-and-see folks. Identifying what it is that's causing the challenge for them. 

 

Nikki (guest): 

They're typically going to fall and wide most of the time. Once they get over whatever that one thing is that they're resistant about. And I think that's where the change champions, the cheerleaders come in and they can really work with and motivate that group of folks who are kind of on the fence. 

 

Nikki (guest):

Could be surveyed, it could be all site types of things. Right? So you could just gather information from those folks. It could be focus groups. There's a variety of ways to engage with that group of folks to see what is preventing them, from getting on board. 

 

Nikki (guest):

For those folks who are really resistant, again, ask them why. What is it that is really holding them back? And then one of the tactics that I've always used is to get them involved in the change. It's amazing how someone can go from sitting on the sidelines and throwing up to all kinds of barriers, and then when you invite them into a planning meeting, now all of a sudden, two things can happen -they can still be resistant, and they're going to bring up all the reasons why this is the most terrible idea in the world, or they start to help you address those issues. And so figuring out which camp those resist, those die-hard resistors are in, you invite them to be a prior the process. But I think small businesses, sometimes you have to make the tough decisions, and you have to really determine whether this person who's being super resistant to this change has a place in the new order of things.

 

Nikki (guest): 

Are they valuable enough that you need to keep them, but you also have to recognize that they are possibly going to sabotage what you're trying to do, and you have to make that tough decision as to whether they stay or they go. And at some point, the change and the future state of your organization requires you to leave some people behind because they're just not going to be able to make lead. So in that case, you have to say, "Thank you for getting me this far and the future does not include us being together." So you have to sometimes make those tough decisions. 

 

Kathy (host): 

That's important because if you do keep those people on board, they can really sabotage a lot of hard work that you're already doing and can bring down the culture. And when you bring down the culture and you people sabotaging you, that's going to affect you financially. So when I look at this, that's one of the things that I'm very, very sensitive about when I come into the business and we start making these changes, financial changes, operational changes. How are we managing this and are there people that are really, really resistant? And then we have to start looking at, do we need more communication with them? What do we need to do to get them on board we can get them on board and this really needs to happen for the business to be financially healthy and sustainable. Then sometimes we have to make a decision and say it's just unfortunately, you know, the futures are going to be separate at this point because of that.

 

Nikki (guest): 

Right. And you know, when I come into an organization and start, they bring me in for change management. I'm always going to start with an assessment. Where's the organization now? Where do they want to go? And part of that assessment is a stakeholder analysis. Who are all the stakeholders who are going to be impacted by this change?

 

Nikki (guest): 

And then I categorize them. Who are the folks who are directly impacted by this? Who are the folks who maybe have to manage the folks who are directly impacted by this? Who are the folks who have to report about it? There are different categories of people. It could be categorized by employees and customers and funders or equity owners. Or it could be the community. It could be anybody, you know. So who are the stakeholders? Who is going to be impacted by this? It could be the board, it could be executive staff, or whoever's going to be impacted by this. And then what is changing for that individual person or that group of people? What is changing for them?

 

Nikki (guest): 

And then starting to craft communications around that very specific communications that go to each one of those groups and talks about how they're being impacted. I think that's, that works whether it is a large organization or a small organization, it just might be groups of people, might be one person, might be in multiple groups, but really starting to drill down on that person's roles, that person's role, their responsibility, their hierarchy in the structure. What is it going to mean to them and how do we help them manage this change? It all starts with an assessment, all starts with a conversation. It all starts with having that high-level view, drilling down into what it's going to mean at that individual human.

 

Kathy (host): 

I'm going to ask this question because this is something that's very relevant to my work and I'm going to, and I'm going to selfishly ask for your a little bit of brain-picking here. Let's say that when a lot of businesses when come in, we have to change the compensation structure. Usually, that means in terms of sales compensation because the company has grown when you've paid them before might not be sustainable to pay the same thing in the future. How do you have those conversations about the compensation and the sales commissions with the people that are going to be affected by this change? Because now we're not just talking about, now we're really talking about how it impacts them personally. 

 

Nikki (guest): 

I think it starts with our roles and responsibilities changing. Are we changing this compensation structure because there's actually more organizational support for the sales function? So for instance, a salesperson used to have to do everything in the process, but now they only have to do a piece of the process. So really, if you think about roles and responsibilities as it ties to the compensation, you have to start thinking about how those things match up and really making it make sense. 

 

Nikki (guest): 

Are people going to be happy about it? Not necessarily, but I think if you talk about for the long-term sustainability of this organization, this is how it has to work. And as long as the organization is here, then you have a job and your role, you start to think about that. 

 

Nikki (guest): 

I think if they're based on commission. Again, the fact that there is more support, maybe there's additional marketing, so they don't have I think just thinking about how it relates to what they now have to do in order to earn the money that they have been earning. And for some people, they'd rather go work at a small mom-and-pop shop because they're going to make a look, a huge percentage on commission. They kill what they eat and they're happy with that. 

Nikki (guest): 

But I think as you professionalize the sales force within your business and share with them kind of the benefits of being in an organization that has this additional support, and then this will actually allow them to grow as a professional, whether it be growing their team, becoming a sales manager. Those types of things. 

Nikki (guest): 

I think appeal to that piece and just recognize there's not always, everyone's not going to stay. That's just because not everyone doesn't want to grow and become a sales manager. They'd rather be out there being, you know, the independent salesperson. 

 

Nikki (guest): 

So just recognize that those different people have different motivations. But I think to start talking about it as it relates to, I'm always back to roles, responsibilities, compensation. How do those things match up? And what is changing that necessitates the change and the compensation structure that really makes it make sense to me as that salesperson. 

 

Kathy (host): 

And I think that's where also planning is so, so important because when you start making these changes, you also know that some people are not going to be happy that one, one leave. So the question is how do you keep the business running while you are recruiting for new people? Are some other people going to have to take on the load? So really thinking about planning capability within the business ahead, what can happen, what might happen, and what are the possibilities that it will happen?

 

Nikki (guest): 

Yeah. And the other pieces is processes and procedures, right? So whereas before, again, when you're starting out, you need a salesperson who can do all the things. But as you grow and mature, now you can bring in junior salespeople who can be trained by others, or you have documented processes and procedures so that when someone new does come in, even if they're just new to you and they're not necessarily new to sales, they understand how your organization works.

 

Nikki (guest): 

And so I think you start that actually from the beginning of planning. When you talk about planning, this is from day one, right? So at some point, you're going to go from, "I have this kind of independent salespeople" to "I want to actually have a sales team." Start building that from day one or from wherever you might be, because you may not have thought about that from day one. But from wherever you are, start to think about what you want to have and start building the foundation for that so that when you're at that stage, you're not like, "Oh my goodness, all my salespeople have left." No. Like I've, you know, you've actually created a sales department, sales team, and folks who are capable can just be slotted into that role. And you can take off running. 

 

Nikki (guest): 

And I think for business leaders, business owners, to really have an understanding of all the processes that are going on in their organization so that you're not at the, you know, I would say at the mercy of an sm like you can't be all things. And I'm not saying everyone has to be all the things, but you need to know enough that you know how to hire and you know what are the expectations for that role so that you can start to build the organization that you want to have in the future. 

 

Kathy (host): 

And that's what I also always say, that a healthy business runs on processes and procedures, not on people. because you always, yeah, people are very important obviously but you always want to make sure that you can plug and play people as needed. You need to hire another person. Someone leaves, and someone goes on maternity leave. God forbid something happens to them. You don't want to have that impact on the business and the way to protect yourself from that and protect yourself financially, which again is super, super important, is to have those processes and procedures in the business so that you're not completely a hundred percent reliant on Sally or Jane or whoever's in your business.

 

Nikki (guest): 

Right. And I often tell business owners, roles and responsibilities should not be personality driven. Right? So even if you're saying, You, Kathy, you do accounting and you also manage contracts and you also do HR, right? You do all three of those things because you're just really great. But when you're looking at an org chart, you need like the org chart, not need to say hr and it needs to say accounting and it needs to say contractor, right? Like those should be boxed. Your name might be in all three boxes, but the box shouldn't just say, Kathy, because that's a recipe for disaster. When Kathy leaves, now you gotta replace Kathy with three people. But you don't know how to do that because Kathy's been doing it all. 

 

Nikki (guest): 

So always like have a really clear idea of what the different roles are within your organization and what the different functions are within your organization so that you have a good understanding of even if you have that one stellar employee who does all the things. You need to have a good understanding of what that person is doing, and what they're responsible for and it's not just based on the personality. It is actually based on their competencies, their abilities, their skills. So you understand how to go about secession planning so you know how to go about if that person wins the mega millions. Now I understand what to do to keep your business up and running and to move it forward. 

 

Kathy (host): 

And you know, as you were talking, you actually bring a really good point too, and I see that with businesses that they're starting to hire fractional people like myself in the business, you also want to make sure that the fractional people are documenting what they're doing as well. That they're putting the processes and procedures because the whole point of a fractional person is not for them to stay in your business forever. Ideally what's going to happen is that you grow and as you grow, you're going to hire someone full time and that person is going to go away. 

 

Kathy (host): 

The point of the fractional person is to lay that foundation so that they can step away from the business. And that you can hire someone in and you already have those processes and procedures, what they were doing, and they have developed that for your business.

 

Kathy (host): 

So don't just think of it in terms of the employees actually in the business, but if you are hiring fractional people, fraction operational people, fractional HR, fractional CFO, like myself, they should be building that foundation as well so that the business is not completely reliant on them. Like a lot of stuff that I do for clients, I want to make sure that I'm documenting because if something happens to me tomorrow, I don't want them to be left in a dark.

 

Nikki (guest): 

Right. You bring up a great point because I have seen that happen where someone has a, a business as fractional folks in for years and years and years, and then they get ready to hire a person to fill that role and they have nothing. They have no documentation. I've seen it with them being reliant on having that fractional support, helping them hire the person. But then that person comes in on, into the organization, and basically, they're starting from scratch. And I think that's very challenging, very difficult. You bring up a great point because if you identify the need for this fractional support, then you need to start building again, planning for having that become an in-house resource at some point. It's a great point.

 

Kathy (host): 

So Nikki, thank you so much for coming on the show. And there is one question that I always ask every single person that joins us on Help! My Business is Growing conversation, and this is, if someone was to really start to implement this change management in an appropriate way in their business and they have no idea where to start, what would be a good next step for them to start something small that they can do in the next week or two?

 

Nikki (guest): 

Get really clear on what the change is. I see so many people say, they want to change, they want to transform their organization. But I think you have to get really clear on what you want to change and why you want to change it. Document it. I think that's the very first thing that you need to do is get clarity on what is changing and why.

 

Kathy (host): 

Nikki, where can people find you?

 

Nikki (guest): 

You can find me on LinkedIn, so Nikki Rogers is on LinkedIn. You can find me also on my website. It is bladen-group.com. That's B-L-A-D-E-N-group.com. And I tend to hang out on Instagram a little bit. So Nikki Rogers Official. You can hear all things about my podcast, which is Women Thriving in Business, and listen to that either via the website or you can get the link on Instagram.

 

Kathy (host): 

Thank you so much, Nikki. This has been an absolute pleasure. 

 

Nikki (guest): 

Thanks, Kathy. It's been great.

 

Kathy (host): 

Thanks so much for joining us, and I hope that today's episode will help you implement a successful change management process in your business. Next week's show is a must. My guest, Barbara Churchill, and I are going to discuss the fine art and the struggle of delegation. 

 

Kathy (host): 

Also, if you love this episode, you can find all the timestamps, show notes, blog posts, and links on the website, newcastlefinance.us/podcast. And before I go, as always, I do have a favor to ask. If you're listening to this on Apple podcast, you could please go to the show and tap the number of stars that you think the show deserves because it helps other people find it too. Thanks so much. Until next time.