The world is changing.
In light of COVID-19, this is the understatement of the year.
But even before the pandemic, the death care profession was already in a major flux of change. Customers continue to move to cremation. Religious affiliations continue to decline, changing what families seek from our profession. Fifty-nine percent of Americans believe that climate change is a major threat. This puts the spotlight back on the ever-growing cremation options. And, in every industry, technology has shifted consumer expectations. Personal, immediate, and secure experiences are now the norm and not the exception.
As the saying goes, change is the only constant in life.
As a leader of your organization in this profession, how you plan for, manage, and enact change can mean the difference between growth and stagnation. But how does a leader begin the process of change? In an industry steeped in tradition and focused on the past, how can an organization stay relevant and viable in a shifting world?
When talking about the future and about change, leadership often gravitates to technology. Having been part of five major organizational changes, I can say that this is a mistake and a trap. Technology should not lead the forefront of organizational change. Organizational change does not start with implementing a new CRM.
To extend an analogy, when building a new home, a vision for that home is set. An architect creates a floor plan. The buyers agree to a budget. Husband and wife compare carpet swatches. In a similar manner, organizational change begins by setting a vision. The organization needs to have something to aim for. To quote Arnold Schwarzenegger, “If you don’t have a goal, if you don’t have a vision, you just drift around.” There are entire books written about setting a vision. I will leave this to your own research, but do not neglect this crucial step.
Once your vision is set, there are three areas of focus that deserve your attention. They are, in order: