Change is a dynamic force that makes an organisation thrive, it’s also something that, when not managed carefully, can easily cause a business to slow down and stumble. This is because change can be unsettling, unnerving, and confusing for people. Thankfully, there are many ways that you can lead, and support change effectively and securely.
1) Visualise The Outcome
The simple technique of creating – and articulating – a vision is important. It helps us give context and enables those involved to understand what the future will look like and the outcomes we are trying to achieve.
When creating a vision, realism is everything. Don’t promise the moon. Offering a dream can be helpful to some and a hindrance to others. Keeping the strategy accurate and goal-driven, can avoid alienating parts of the organisation.
2) Set Realistic Goals
Failure is a natural and healthy part of change. However, when employees feel like they are constantly getting it wrong, morale can plummet. Therefore, it’s no surprise that change managers advise using goals to make what matters happen – as they are uplifting intrinsic rewards and a way of keeping everything on target. People enjoy goals, but only when the goals makes sense. Maze recommend that the key to transformation is setting goals that describe the following:
- By…what is the specific date you want to complete your goal, write this as a ‘Newspaper date’ style avoid using by the end of the first quarter it is not specific.
- Deliver…what will be delivered by this date, what will be different.
- Measure…how will you measure the success
This way avoids setting your people up to fail and turns the exercise into an empowering experience and an opportunity to celebrate.
3) Don’t Be Afraid Of Dropping Goals
As a leader, one of your crucial tasks is evaluating and understanding the change process. When it comes to goals, this is famously challenging. There is often a fine line between what organisations want to achieve, and what they are capable of achieving.
This difference is something that leaders need to grasp. Some goals need to be abandoned in order to move forwards. In order to understand which goals are not working, core skills are focused upon communication. Leaders must read the tides of energy and emotion within their teams and translate them into effective strategic decisions.
4) Give People A Voice
Communication is at the heart of an effective change strategy. This is a two-way dialogue that occurs at multiple levels. Asking for people’s thoughts and ideas results in powerful change. Innocent Smoothies found this when allowing their employees to drive innovation by pitching products and ideas – a technique that dramatically increased their market value.
This type of laisez-faire leadership is ideal for some companies, and leads to natural, creative change. In corporations that require top-down hierarchy, employee feedback via interviews and focus groups can ensure that a clear picture of the climate is achieved. People are the heart of every organisation. It’s vital to know what they really think, and to remind them that they are valued and involved.
5) Don’t Go It Alone
If change can be unsettling for the workforce, it can be downright alarming for leaders. It can be lonely at the top. Ever since Randy Newman penned this famous refrain in 1972, business leaders have embraced the words as their own.
The message is: don’t be isolated. Having a dedicated, informed, understanding and trusted person on hand where a problem shared is an opportunity doubled means that change can happen without turning the world upside-down.
Change is crucial, and at Maze Training we offer a range of pro-change strategies. From practical advice to specially-designed training, we have the experience to help.
When change is visualised as an opportunity for organisational empowerment, it does not have to be overwhelming. If you’d like to learn more about our approach, philosophies, and client-centred responses, get in touch today.