Change Leadership

In my experience, many organizations work under the mantra; Change is constant, yet purposeful. Although, the purpose can be something as simple as experimenting with a new idea, or extravagant as an implementation based on statistical strategic forecasting and planning. An innovative team must be
adaptable to the change to sows.

When discussing change and leadership, we need to look at change as an opportunity to show how strong and adaptable the team is. It is up to you, as the leader, to be the motivation and encouragement to your team. John C. Maxwell said, “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” How you react to change is what will inspire others to either be an advocate of change, or an adversary. Good leaders grow, but great leaders grow with everyone together.

John Kotter writes several book on leading change. He breaks down change leadership into 8 steps: Create a sense of urgency, Create a powerful coalition, Create a vision for change, Communicate the vision, Topic Remove obstacles, Create short-term wins, Build on the change, and Create a change culture.

Creating urgency requires the team to have “buy-in” and own the vision of change. The entire team should be supporting one another in accountability toward the change. To build a sense of urgency, have genuine and convincing conversations about the topic with the influencers within the workgroup. This will also help build a needed coalition.

These advocates for change must work together. Constantly increasing momentum surrounding the topic of change. A great way to build momentum is to have your team gain ownership in the vision. Creating a clear vision for change is absolutely critical. Share the vision through core values, credible support (by your coalition), and providing an execution strategy.

How you share your vision is up to you. It can be in a morning meeting, a formal presentation, or in one-on-one conversation, but be sure to let you passion for the change shine through. This is how you will drive the change. Connect everything back to you’re vision, and talk about it frequently.

As you’ve gained the necessary momentum, you’ll be able to identify change barriers more easily. Quick and swift action will be needed to remove threats and obstacles preventing change. Lift up those who are the advocates for your change vision. Remove, and redirect, those who are not supporting your goals and vision. Reward those short-term targets that have been met.

Share the “wins” with the entire team, and organization (if needed), to motivate and maintain change momentum. By acknowledging the short-term goals, you will be ensuring the team’s focus on the vision. Continue to instill the drive for change by building on the change.

In my experience, change comes to an abrupt stop when the team celebrates the achieved vision, but doesn’t know where to go next. So, identify the strengths and weaknesses during the change process, and address them with the team. Allow them to grow. Have the team provide criticism for future change, and a new vision for the future. This will give them ownership in the change culture.

Don’t forget to recognize and inspire key change leaders, and share their success stories to inspire others to partner in the change culture. Leaders within teams should be advocates of an adaptable workgroup.

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