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R. J. James

R. J. James Managing Director

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CHANGE and Your Dealership’s CULTURE

As 2018 comes to a close and you consider what you will do DIFFERENTLY or BETTER in 2019; you might be considering making some CHANGES. 

Whether you are a Team Lead, Supervisor, Manager, Director, GM, SVP, or DP… Here’s several questions to consider as you contemplate making CHANGES:

  1. In 2018, WHY did you try to implement CHANGE?
  2. In 2018, HOW did you try to implement CHANGE?
  3. Be HONEST, did the 2018 intended CHANGE STICK?
    •      That intended CHANGE was implemented EXACTLY as intended?                                                          That intended CHANGE was implemented in a MODIFIED version?                                                        That intended CHANGE was implemented, but ABANDONED?                                                                That intended CHANGE was NEVER implemented?

Whether that 2018 intended CHANGE was People, Process, and/or Productivity was it impacted, positively or negatively by the dealership’s CULTURE?  Quite often, a business’ CULTURE is difficulty to define.  From my 15 years of consulting work with car dealerships here’s a four-tier basic framework I use to define, identify, and coach a dealership concerning their CULTURE: 

  • Traditional Culture... Strongly Resist Change (Quite often they will say something like, “That’s not how we do things around here.”)
  • Conservative Culture... Forced into Change by their OEM (The dealership is subject to penalties or incentives to make the change.)
  • Adaptive Culture... Accept Change to Stay Competitive (They make changes because their local competitors have done so.)
  • Innovative Culture... Aggressively Seeks and Implements Change (The dealership is usually among the first to invest in technology and people to build or maintain a competitive advantage.)

 

When trying to implement CHANGE at a car dealership, here’s the major hurdles I have incurred:

  • LEADERSHIP One… The DP and/or GM are not Active and Ongoing CHAMPIONS for the intended CHANGE (If the Head don’t… the Body won’t!!!)
  • LEADERSHIP Two… The Department Managers are not held ACCOUNTABLE for implementing the CHANGE (Unless it impacts my Pay Plan,  I don’t give a ****)
  • ACCOUNTABILITY… No measureable/monitored/time-bound Metrics to insure the intended CHANGE is being implemented

 

So dealership Leaders, as 2018 comes to a close and you are considering making CHANGE(S)… What are you going to do to insure that CHANGE(S) is actually IMPLEMENTED???

Bart Wilson

This is a perfect time to look back at 2018 and reflect on change efforts. I think one of the main questions that need to be asked before implementing a new process/tool/etc would be "is the change worth the impact it will have on culture?"  This question shouldn't stop you from growing and trying new things, but it is a good exercise on the cost of the solution.

Mark Rask

This is great timing for this 

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