Frequency refers to how often change occurs. There was a time when organizations were proud of their stability and consistency. Acquisitions were infrequent, co-workers with whom you attended new hire orientation twenty years earlier still were around to join you for lunch. A hard day’s work provided you job security. Words like “right-sizing” and “down-sizing” were not in the dictionary. Your job description had not changed for years.
Today, mergers and acquisitions are daily event. Yesterday’s technology upgrades quickly become obsolete. Roles, responsibilities, and relationships change faster than a name plate on a cubicle. If you are like so many others in your organization, you had had three to five bosses in the past five years. Kevin, a client, shared with me that the boss with whom he wrote his annual goals was not, for three years running, the same boss who reviewed his achievement to his goals at the end of the year. Another year, another boss.
In a March 2014 poll conducted by Inc. Magazine, 28% of the respondent’s business models changed in the last five years; 36% of the respondent’s mix of products and services changed; and 47% of the respondent’s financial structure changed.7 I frequently speak with clients who have received emails that a workgroup – for example, account management – has reorganized their staff and function, effective immediately. These same clients attest that it feels like the same workgroup just reorganized six months earlier!
I worked with a client company whose leadership and organizational structure was relatively the same for almost forty years. This same organization has changed its leadership and “go-to-market” structure three times in the last six years.