Firstly apologies in the time from my last post, too many flights, too many hotel rooms!
In this post I want to discuss more about change leadership. I believe change is led not managed. And this applies to any type of change from a new product through to a new process or a major shift in strategy or even a merger or sale.
Too many times I have observed change poorly implemented leading to frustration both on the parts of the managers and the staff. Ultimately this leads to frustration across the whole ecosystem from suppliers through to customers! Often managers think that by dictating change it will be willingly adopted and implemented. Most underestimate the power of resistance at grass roots and middle management.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. A well developed change leadership strategy is all it takes.
To effect lasting and efficient change you need three key steps; Preparation, Leadership and Reaffirmation.
In the first step you need to prepare well: work out what the changes will mean, who will be affected and determine the personal pain that will be caused and the potential personal gains that could be created.
Using this information develop a leadership model. In this phase you need to develop a compelling case for change, ensure executives are able to articulate this story and to be able to address the common issues you determined from your analysis preparation. You also need to engage those within the team who are “change ready”, provide them too with all the information and arguments to convince their fellow employees of why they are positive about the change, train them in change leadership, empower them to do what is needed to sell the change and eliminate the hurdles and last of all follow the golden rule, communicate, communicate and communicate. Convert those easiest to convert and the majority will ultimately come on board.
Lastly be ready for slippage as people tend to fall back to their comfort zones. You need to reaffirm the changes. This can be achieved by monitoring outomes, rewarding desired behaviours, celebrating change and achieving quick wins.
Remember change is all about people. Anyone can design new systems, new processes, new products or new technology. It takes a leader to effect and maintain the change. Let me know your own experiences, the good and the bad.