Leading for Change...a few years ago Patti, our Strategist, was interviewed for an article of the same title in Success Magazine. In that article she stressed the importance of involving the team in finding solutions, saying;
“When employees know the plan, the direction, the mission and the goals, it gives them something concrete and real to focus their actions toward. It helps them understand how they add value to the direction of the company and shows them their own worth toward building success for the organization.”
Recently, a new client approached us because they have been struggling with the internal management of some of their change initiatives. The topic of managing change is a relatively new area for them and they have made assignments regarding the change management role. When we identified for them that they have not developed a common understanding across the organization as to exactly what change management is, they began to better understand why some of their initiatives were failing.
What was happening?
- Employees believed they WERE performing change management in their respective areas.
- The words Change Management were being used but not necessarily performed in the manner the industry recognizes.
- They were seeing ‘ownership’ of their piece of the project threatened by the new change management role, assuming their piece would be taken away.
- They were unwittingly sabotaging the change efforts of the change manager.
- They had a number of ‘change’ initiative going on, but did not support at the highest level.
- They were treating the process as an administrative duty.
It didn’t take long to get them on the right track, what they needed was a company-wide definition of the Change Management Process for their organization. They needed to engage the people in the organization to clarify this common definition for the entire company. Then they needed to engage teams in learning just what that involved. Most had no idea that change management is actually a process, not a series of random steps performed in isolation of the other steps. “We added a little Change Management to this…” means they had no idea what change management actually involves.
In your best sponsorship, are you leading change by creating clarity and understanding from the top and including people from ALL levels of the organization so that they have both input and a common understanding of initiatives? Here are some ways to help you build the competency in your organization:
- Bring in someone to help you define a change process for your organization.
- Train the people you will be assigning as change practitioners
- Enlighten the organization with clarity on exactly what change management involves.
Let me leave you with Patti’s other quote I like from the article:
“You don’t have all the answers, and science is showing that a group of committed collaborators trumps a single genius for finding amazing solutions.”
Clarity and engagement – two keys to success in Leading Change – Make it Grand![PostFooterW]