Don’t Give Up!
It isn’t the first time you hear me talking about Big Environments and why they’re harder to manage than small environments, and it won’t be the last time either. Often I hear that people sympathize with the idea that Small is better than Big, but what if you work in an environment that is much larger than you would prefer and you still want to change things?
This is a question that all employees can have, including executives. I must admit, and I talk from experience, that changing Big Environments is far from easy. But it can be done. Often people within large businesses think that the change should come from the top. Except of course for the people at the top, they mostly believe that they can only make a difference if the people that do the actual work are willing to change. The thing is that you can use a Top-Down and a Bottom-Up approach simultaneously.
Top-Down versus Bottom-Up
The Top-Down approach should focus on existing Big Plans and Big Ideas. Your focus should be on transforming these Big Plans and Ideas into a lot of Small Plans and Ideas. The way to do this is to strike out everything that isn’t necessary, and then take what’s left and divide it into small parts that you can deliver separately. And it’s important to notice that parts shouldn’t be confused with phases. The most important aspect of a Part is that, when implemented, it improves something in the real world.
With the Bottom-Up approach, everybody involved should look at his or her direct surroundings and look for possible improvements. And then they can follow these steps:
– Identify the improvements
– Act upon them
– Implement the change
– And then: Repeat
Following these steps ensures continuous improvement.
Changing something that is Big is hard, believe me, I know. There will be all kinds of difficulties; it can take a lot of time, and not everybody will be thrilled from the start. But it can be done, and there’s no reason not to act.
So don’t wait, start today.