Helping leaders navigate organizational change is one of my favorite activities as a leadership consultant. There is no doubt that forward-thinking organizations understand that change will always be part of business, especially as new technologies and ways of doing business emerge in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
As I mentioned in previous publications, like How to Get Your Team to Buy in Organizational Change and How Transformative Leaders Make Stick Organizational Change, Leaders themselves need to be transformers in order to inspire superior performance that creates customer-focused cultures and creates long-term profitable relationships with customers. However, the process to get to this point is often difficult.
6 Ways to Create Transformational Organizational Change
Here are 6 ways you can create organizational change that will stay in the long term and be the transformational leader you plan to be.
- Creating Clarity by Linking Change to Business Strategies : The "why" question is perhaps one of the most important questions in organizational change. Expect to ask why change is needed, and be ready with an answer. Your team will be more open to change when it is directly linked to current business strategies and their personal success. Providing this type of clarity will put your team at ease, help with understanding and help integrate them into the upcoming changes. From a business strategy point of view, it is also important to clarify the team responsible for leading the change and to define the roles, structures and decision-making protocols.
- Be realistic and give time to change : Change will not happen overnight. It takes time for people to internalize change, accept it, and invest in a personal and professional perspective. It is also important to report on current projects and strategies and to determine how change will impact these initiatives.
- Addressing the Current Organizational Culture: Any change made internally has a direct impact on organizational culture. The impact of the new guidelines on culture should be part of the conversation about the change you have with your team. Organizational culture has a lot of power and impact on change, and you can not afford to ignore it, otherwise you'll have trouble with employee engagement and getting people to buy your new vision.
- Be Prepared for Change : True transformative change is possible when leaders are on board. You can not pretend – your team will see through you, risking the disengagement from the process of change. You must be open and be ready to change your state of mind, your behavior and your style to model the change for the organization. Actions speak louder than words.
- Understanding the Human Dynamics of the Situation : It is natural for people to have an emotional reaction to change, especially if it impacts on their role in your organization. They need to know how the changes will affect them personally. This is why leaders must be in tune with the emotional dynamics that accompany the proposed change. It is important to develop your message and design your actions in ways that minimize negative emotional reactions and put in place a plan to address problems as they arise – and they will arise.
- Open and engaging communication : If you keep things near the waistcoat, people can ask you about your motives and the reasons for a change. Be transparent and communicate the reasons why change is needed, indicating how it will have a positive impact on your team and its ability to achieve its goals. Open dialogues help put people at ease, especially when change is on the horizon. Remember, even a positive change is a threat to the status quo and can make people uncomfortable with their work and their role in the organization.
Your approach to change is just as important as what you want to change in your organization. If you want to be a transformative leader and create lasting organizational change, you need to approach it in a way that minimizes negative feedback, is aligned with business strategies and cultures. business, and is inclusive in nature.