Many organisations believe that leading change is hard. Once an enterprise is walking down a particular path, they tell themselves, it is almost impossible to turn it around. It feels like the Titanic hurtling towards the iceberg.
It turns out, though, that leading change isn’t as difficult as you think. It just requires rethinking how you go about the process of leadership in your firm.
Start Challenging The Status Quo
Organisations fail when their leaders stop challenging the status quo. An unwillingness to voice dissent causes them to stagnate, and they find it difficult to move forward and improve their services.
Good leaders, however, don’t care about doctrine or history. All that matters to them is what works. Just because an approach delivered results in the past, doesn’t mean that it will continue to do so in the future.
Leading change, therefore, requires creating safe spaces where people feel free to challenge established company dogmas.
When operating under the right incentives, employees will come forward with constructive ideas.
Develop A Change Strategy
If you want to get colleagues on your side, you need a robust change strategy in place first.
It should be clear to people around you what you actually want to achieve.
Start by outlining the following:
- The change that you’d like to achieve
- The parties who will be affected by the change
- The resources you need to effect the change
- The milestones you’ll use to measure your progress along the way
When presenting a strategy for leading change, try to collect suggestions and feedback. Find out roughly how much support you have and the likelihood of the organisation following through as a whole.
Think about how you might need to adjust your plan to make it more palatable.
Leaders don’t usually like the idea of taking risks, but sometimes it’s necessary, especially when you are trying to change the outlook of an entire enterprise.
Let’s say, for instance, that you run a remote business and you think it is a good idea to provide employees with weekly feedback on their work. It sounds like a great plan and something that will hold people accountable. But it could be making things worse by creating a sense of dread which affects the quality of their work.
Getting rid of this procedure and using a customer-centric evaluation model (such as customer reviews) might be a better approach.
Engaging in a strategy like this feels inherently risky because you’re letting go of your control.
But it could lead to superior outcomes overall.
Create Additional Change Leaders
Trying to carry out change single-handedly is virtually impossible. Colleagues typically want to maintain the status quo, and ultimately many leaders fail.
However, creating additional change leaders in your organisation can tip the balance in your favour.
For instance, you could offer promotions to junior colleagues giving them the authority to make change-focused decisions.
You could also offer managers training that both encourages them to make changes themselves while also boosting their skills.
With our help, you can equip your people with the tools and skills they need to make a real difference.