Change is inevitable, but good leaders can navigate and embrace change to move their companies forward.
That’s what Kat Cole, president and COO of Athletic Greens, has done for years. As the former president of Cinnabon, she transformed the brand and fostered growth at all levels of the business.
Cole presented at ServiceTitan’s recent Pantheon event, where she gave advice on how to iterate, adapt and succeed faster.
“Smart business owners look around the corner,” she said. “Change comes faster every year because of technology.
For any aspect of change to be success, and help propel the business, Cole said it has to start from the ground up.
“Hourly employees are an incredible bedrock of our communities,” she said. “It doesn’t matter how much leadership wants change, those on the frontlines have to execute it.
“Mine the insights of your people,” Cole added. “A listening leader is a lasting leader.”
Cole said there are three questions leaders should be asking their employees on a regular basis:
1.) What should we start doing?
2.) What should we stop doing?
3.) If you were me what’s one thing you’d do differently to make the business better?
By asking these questions to a myriad of people, Cole said businesses can free up capital, time, resources and energy on things that aren’t working and start prioritizing innovation and change.
Cole had some more advice on how to achieve buy in from employees when it comes to change.
“Find a coalition of the willing,” she suggested. “Let the people going the work take the credit and own the change.”
She added it’s also important for leaders to confront reality and make change before it’s too late.
Another way to find out what needs fixed in a business is to implement what Cole called an “MMDD log” or “Made My Day Difficult.”
She advised businesses to have a log where employees can add one thing each day that hindered them from doing their job to their full potential. Leaders should then look for patterns within the list and improve things where they can.