March 3, 2015
Effectively Leading with Change
Understanding the dynamics of change can help you effectively deal with it. Let’s face it, change is inevitable; yet without it, organizations would wither and die. Will your business’ current evolutionary path get you where you would like to be? Do you have any choices when it comes to the changes your business is considering? The resounding answer is “yes.”
If you are in a leadership position in an organization and want to be effective in making change, you need to cultivate it and not force it. How do you do this? You make certain you are very clear in answering why changes are occurring, as well as what changes means to the organization and those who report to you. This is best done face-to-face, and questions should be encouraged and answered.
It is important that you know you have consensus with your team, and you must charge them to do the same with their subordinates. For this to be effective, people must believe they are safe when they disagree or ask questions. If you aren’t challenged, or there are no questions asked, you have likely not been successful.
Make certain you have a full understanding of changes before communicating them with your team and others. The most important thing a leader must do is ask their team members how they can get better. What’s good or bad about the organization? How can we fix the bad and make improvements?
If you’re on the receiving end of change and don’t understand or agree with it, you have a responsibility to speak up and constructively challenge until you are satisfied and can agree to move forward with a positive attitude. This does not mean everyone will agree 100%, what it means is everyone will support 100%. If you cannot fully-support the change, you need to resolve your conflict with the change.
In order to be successful in making changes within your organization, you can’t force, drive, or impose it; it’s something you need to cultivate. Successful change management empowers employees with information that will make them most effective, ensures employees know what the organization’s priorities are for them, and makes certain that employees know the expectations they are working within and have a structure for understanding, following, measuring, and evaluating their own results.
Remember: People do not resist change; they resist “being” changed. As Socrates would say – “Focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
What are you doing to support building the new?