The most successful leaders embrace change as a constant norm. They innovatively keep their people engaged to stay ahead of the curve. These are critical competencies for successful, sustainable leadership.
I see this across the organizations I work with and the leaders I have coached. It’s a common denominator no matter the industry.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore a few of the fundamentals of leading change.
This is part 1 of the 3-part series on Being a Great Change Leader by Diana Gabriel, Certified Strengths Strategy Coach.A collective spirit of seeking solutions is critical to creating change. Click To Tweet
Every thriving organization has successfully learned to navigate change well. With the business environment and its threats constantly evolving, it follows that the need to be agile in innovatively responding to change is critical for sustainable success. Of course, change can happen on its own, but effective change must be lead and must be managed, an unfamiliar concept to many leaders who react to change as it is happening instead of leading the change proactively.
As change expert Edith Onderick-Harvey explains in Forbes’, Developing A Change Leader Mindset, managing change is not the same as leading change. Change management uses tools and processes to conduct projects. Leading change involves setting a course, establishing a culture and motivating your people to follow. Successful leaders are those who actively engage in leading change proactively, not just when it is required.
Considering that over sixty percent of all major corporate change initiatives fail, executives will benefit from enhancing their change leadership approach. Great leaders build on five fundamental pillars of change, the first is Vision.
Setting a Vision
A compelling vision is what underpins all successful change. It not only sets the change initiative in motion, but it sustains its life during execution and long after its implementation because their people become engaged in the change process through the vision. The leader’s vision is founded on their assessment of the way things are. They can see what needs to change and create a picture of the way things need to be.
Corporate and organizational change may involve new products, new approaches, new markets, or a new company image. It may pertain to expansion or downsizing. It may be as basic as upgrading policies, products, procedures, or systems.
As the leader, you need to create a compelling vision for the need for change by helping their people understand the risks of maintaining the status quo and the benefits of making changes. Your people need to be drawn together in unity, to not only collectively accept the change, but to become engaged in playing an active role in it.
Managers are expected to promote the change and create ways to engage their people in the process. This involves intentional group communication where the vision is shared, things are explained, people are heard, and their concerns are acknowledged. A collective spirit of seeking solutions is critical.
The vision-setting stage is where you, as the leader, need to be focused on being credible and available to build a trusting environment.