#Recipe for Success: Implementing Change in Your Business

Implementing change is difficult in any business. For accounting professionals, it can be even harder, as we often like routine and efficiency, and change disrupts both of these. So, this #RecipeForSuccess helps you to use what’s already in your cupboard to make progress toward your goals.

What is a #RecipeforSuccess? It’s a campaign that provides key ingredients and steps for accounting pros and their small business clients to achieve success. Go here to see more recipes on a range of topics, from setting up charities for success to managing a remote workforce.

Master Chef: Carla Caldwell, Caldwell Consulting and Training

Ingredients:

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Quiet Place
  • Goal
  • Observations
  • Metrics
  • Art supplies
  • Scoreboard
  • Accountability
  • Consistency
  • Communication
  • Encouragement
  • Party supplies

Directions:

1. First, mix together your pen, paper and a quiet place, and write down the most important goal for your firm. This goal needs to be significant to your business – one that will “move the needle” to take your firm to the next level of growth or efficiency. This step may have already been thought of, and you may have even said before that you need to accomplish this goal or take steps toward it. But, this time, action will be taken toward accomplishing it! If needed, add an extra sprinkling of courage and determination when writing this goal down.

2. Next, take the goal from step 1 and mix it with some observations on how you will know when you are moving toward that goal. When combined, these will be the metrics that will let you know you are going in the right direction and will actually achieve the goal you have written down. You will know you have the right metrics when your team can influence the measurements, and the measurements also are indicative of success toward achieving the goal.

3. With the metrics and goal next to you, it’s time to get out the art supplies to create the scoreboard. This is a visual tool that will show everyone in the practice how you are doing toward achieving your goal. In this step, you will creatively chart the metrics and the overall progress toward the goal. Make this fun, and be sure to involve others in this step; in fact, many times there is a “sous chef” in the firm who is just waiting to express their creative side when asked!

4. In this step, mix together your accountability and consistency. Each week, meet together as a team to discuss what you’re making (the goal) and the steps in the process (actions they can influence and indicate success). This should be a quick meeting (15 minutes or so) where each person on the team tells what was accomplished last week toward meeting the goal, what specific step will be taken next week toward the goal and a review of the scoreboard. (Note that no day-to-day work is discussed during this meeting!)

5. Depending on the goal, this is where you add much communication, encouragement and more consistency to the process. As you know, cooking up something new takes all these ingredients, and the best leaders also know there may be some issues along the way. But, as the team meets regularly and there is a set time to discuss issues and help one another, change begins to happen when communication, encouragement and consistency are in the mix.

6. Once the goal is attained, you need the party supplies. Your team needs to celebrate. This may look different for each firm, so decorate the cake, blow up the balloons, hire the juggler (or massage therapist!) and enjoy the payoff of accomplishing this change that will transform your firm!

7. The final step of this amazing recipe is to take some time to debrief. Sit with your team, grab some additional paper and a pen, and find out what worked and what didn’t. Tweak the recipe for implementing change in your firm based on your observations, style and feedback from your team. Each time, the process and ingredients will be roughly the same, but quantities may vary.

Now, enjoy using this recipe again and again to implement change, and celebrate your achievements!