Updated: Apr 26, 2022
Our ability to navigate and drive change as leaders is being tested with the constant evolution of world events.
My favorite quote is by Heraclitus "change is the only constant in life.” No surprise my career has seen me leading through change and transition. Be this organisational change following restructures and redundancies, rebuilding damaged brands, new systems/program launches, rapidly changing sales environments, fixing toxic workplace culture, diversifying workplaces, and embracing remote work.
When we navigate change agility, collaboration, accountability, vision, and communication are key. Understanding the bigger picture and the reason why should never be overlooked.
Below are some points for you to consider during change.
Plan for Change
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” - Benjamin Franklin
Take time to carefully plan change. Ensure you can answer these important questions:
What is the reason behind the change? Why is change needed?
Who is involved in this change?
What does success look like? How will success be measured?
What is the vision following change?
What is the strategy to move forward?
How will you get people to support you?
What support and training are needed to implement the change?
Create Clear Goals
Clear goals, broken down into smaller achievable steps create momentum for change. Having a well-thought-out action plan will keep you and your teams stay focused.
Does everyone know what is expected of them?
Do they know what, why, and when they are doing it with?
Do they know whom they are working with?
Do they know who is supporting them and where they can get help if needed?
Trust is a key element in managing change. Get your senior leaders to show their faces and confirm how the change is linked with the future vision of the company. Ensure they display empathy, transparency, and give recognition were due. This can be incredibly powerful in boosting morale and building and establishing trust.
An effective way to build trust is through involvement, honesty, transparency, and open communication. Consider:
How much are you trusted?
How much trust do your senior leaders have?
How can you build more trust?
What might negatively impact trust?
Are you collecting feedback? What are you doing with this feedback?
Communication can make or break the implementation of change; it can be the difference between a smooth transition and a big mess. One of the most detrimental mistakes made during change by our Executives, which slumps morale and performance during change implementation, is to keep operational staff in the dark, then provide poorly communicated change announcements last minute.
When communicating, consider:
When, what and to whom do I need to communicate?
What tone and method of communication do I need to use?
Who else do you need to communicate your message to?
“75% of careers are derailed for reasons related to emotional competencies, including inability to handle interpersonal problems; unsatisfactory team leadership during times of difficulty or conflict; or inability to adapt to change or elicit trust" - The Center for Creative Leadership
Change triggers a series of emotions in us. The intensity and duration of these emotions will depend on how anticipated and significant the change is - hence emphasizing the importance of communication. Emotions will have a direct link to performance and moral. The Change Curve by Kubler-Ross illustrates this well.
Consider the following questions:
How can you trigger the right emotions to create the pull to empower and motivate staff to work with you?
How can you move your teams swiftly past negative emotions and foster positive emotions?
What is the level of emotional intelligence of your leaders and teams?
Is there a need for emotional management training or coaching support?
If you are currently considering change or already waist deep in the process, book in a quick call to see how we can support you and your teams embrace change.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new” - Socrates