One of my learning curve as a leader is understanding that you cannot do everything by yourself, you will eventually get burned out, and you will get absolutely nothing done. I learned to admit that I don’t know everything, I learn to trust my team and most importantly, to ask for help. If you are trying to implement change in a toxic organizational culture and you have a fractured team of managers, I have news for you, that organization will forever be in a whirlwind of change.
For example, neglecting the people issues and focusing solely on improving the systems, processes, and structure of a company can be an active enabler or an insurmountable obstacle to implementing change in an organization. Focusing solely on these factors and neglecting culture, trust, values, engagement, communication, etc. can render the whole change process absolutely useless.
People will determine if the change is a success, but it must start with the leadership of the organization working together to achieve the objectives of the change and leading the change by example.
Change is difficult to achieve, but some companies have successfully implemented change throughout the length and breadth of their organization. So what’s the secret behind a successful transformation, one word, LEADERSHIP.
Any organizational culture is a direct result of a leader’s behavior and values, but more importantly, the leadership values are crucial to understanding corporate behavior since people tend to emulate the behavior of their leaders with the assumption that their behavior is right. All leaders must know that role modeling is an effective strategy to facilitate change; however, leaders must prepare to walk the talk of change to instill any credibility during the change process.
If you want to implement a successful change, consider using the following 8 points.
1. Drop the ‘I can do it all by myself” nonsense. As a leader, you cannot implement change without support from your team of managers and your employees. Every single person must work as a team, and you, as the leader, must make it happen. You have to be creative, swallow your pride, and genuinely reach out to your team. If you do not get your team on board with the change, it will not be successful.
2. You must walk the talk of change and continuously espouse the core values of the organization to create that organization identity. If many people start talking about the change you propose, the urgency can build and feed on itself, according to Kotter (1995).
3. A shared mindset and new behaviors must be created within the organization, particularly at the management level, to achieve any type of change. As a result, managers have to continuously engage staff about the change and seek feedback to alleviate any concerns. The leadership must demonstrate a passion and commitment to change.
4. Everyone, starting with the leadership, must be held accountable for building that awareness in their department for change and ensuring that their staff is aware of the organization’s values. Also, the CEO, along with the team of managers should develop that urgency about the change to upset the status quo while in the process justifying the need for change to employees who were not quite sure why this change is necessary.
5. Be prepared for resistance. To execute change, one has to take into consideration the environment these employees have grown accustomed too. There should be objectives and a clear line of sight to determine if employees are achieving their goals.
6. The leadership should be aware of the employee’s psychological contract and the impact on that contract because of the change. If management cannot adequately evaluate the effect of the changes taking place at the company, this will lead to the non-fulfillment of the strategic objectives, which will eventually lead to more resistance.
7. Communication must be a priority. Although employees may be able to absorb a limited amount of information, the leadership must ensure that people know where to go for more information if they need it. Management should be patient enough to answer any questions that come up from the staff.
8. The essential stage of any change process is to know whether a change initiative has had the desired effect or not and which measures will be used to monitor and evaluate the change outcomes. Therefore, one must determine, at the outset of the change, what results are expected, how it will be measured, and when.
Change is sometimes very challenging to implement, and leaders have a critical role to play in delivering sustainable change in this fast-moving and demanding business environment. Leaders need to be able to create a compelling vision of what things will be like once the change has been made, what will the staff benefit from the chnage, and, more importantly, communicating, motivating, and inspiring your team during the entire process of the change. This is very important.
Kotter (1995) argued that over 100 companies try to remake themselves into significantly better competitors; a few of these corporate change efforts have been very successful; however, in most instances, some have been utter failures. Consider the seven-points highlighted above as a starting point. Actively solicit support from your team, regularly and consistently communicating with everyone, and genuinely embrace the feedback from staff, and this will give your organization a chance to succeed.
About Gifford Thomas
I am the founder of Leadership First and the author of The Inspirational Leader, Inspire Your Team To Believe In The Impossible. At Leadership First, we are committed to publishing the very best inspirational leadership quotes and articles to inspire our 200,000+ community of leaders to believe in the impossible, while creating an environment free from toxic, fearful and intimidating leadership. We believe everyone can and should enjoy their work, but it must start with the leadership leading by example. Follow our community of leaders HERE, and let's change the leadership status quo to help inspire and motivate our leaders to make a difference and create an organization their people will love.
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