Not all changes need to be revolutionary. Sometimes the best choice is to stick with a winning formula and continue to evolve it to keep it fresh. Witness the success this summer of the “Fast & Furious 6.” Sequels sell. This approach can also work in business. One example is Huddle House, a chain of “Classic American Diners serving great comfort food.” As Huddle House’s new CEO, Michael Abt, was settling into his role he asked a lot of questions and learned that there was a real opportunity for a “system refresh.” Abt decided to invest in that as his early win, changing the balance of incentives and convincing franchisees to adopt the refresh.
Don’t get me wrong. Early wins in isolation can backfire. They must be part of a program of converging and evolving. First you converge, becoming part of the team. Abt’s early questioning is a good example of one aspect of that. Then you pivot, agreeing on an imperative with your team. After that moment, you can start evolving – with a lot more confidence that people are going to go with you.