Embracing Change: What People Need To See To Believe
As a leader of self, we are at the mercy of our own decision-making.
As a leader of people, we have the choice to influence others in their decision-making.
As a leader of an organisation, our people often look to us to take ultimate responsibility for the direction we collectively take.
The commonality of each leadership setting in the context of significant change is, in the famous words of Mahatma Ghandi, as a leader of change “you must be the change you wish to see in the world.” The transformation starts with you.
So how do we as leaders approach and address change in order to bring it to life through our people?
You’re the CEO of a large organisation. You know that your business needs to innovate in order to live and breathe its purpose and to remain competitive into the future. But how do you push the boundaries of change without tipping people over the edge?
For example, in the context of the digital age, introducing new and innovative technology platforms into a business to streamline communication and create efficiencies is commonplace. Your people have been operating a certain way for as long as they can remember.
They have to learn to walk before they can run, right?
Introducing a framework and starting to embed this structure in smaller changes from which people will not run a mile is important. Turn the lights on and help them to see enough to believe.
As this becomes part of how we do things around here, your people will increasingly and authentically buy-in to embracing change initiatives.
At Kin Space we have put together a simple and effective change framework that requires collaboration and co-operation to help bring change to life.
It is one that leadership should test thoroughly itself to ensure that the proposed change will be embraced.
First and foremost you must be able to articulate the nuts and bolts of the change clearly... then comes the all-importantWHY.
Here is where you engage your people to see the bigger picture in becoming sponsors of the change. For example, you’re introducing a technology that although confronting, is going to positively impact the way in which people experience the organisation. This is the blue sky.
The following links in the chain are what will assist in securing buy-in and adoption of novel ideas and practices as you work with your people to build comprehension.
To ease fears of loss and uncertainty that naturally stem from change, instil a sense of remaining in control. At this point you educate your people on the benefits of the proposed change and how their lives will be made easier. As with each of the following steps, it is important that you engage their input in the process. They must be able to tell you the benefits in order to believe.
You must then be able to clearly outline the individual impact on each person that will be affected by the change. Bear in mind, each individual will need different things to see to believe.
Some may require all the details and some may be satisfied with only part of the picture. This is largely dependent on the trust they have in the leadership, often based on track record. The framework covers all bases.
To create perspective for individuals, and to build an understanding of the big picture, focusing on the empathic aspects of change is also important. Sharing an understanding of how the change will impact others will also help to build connection and enable smoother integration of transitions.
If at this point you are yet to connect the dots for your people, working through the costs of not changing with them is often the defining piece in the puzzle that ties it all together.
Despite all your best efforts, change resistance may be inevitable for some. The key is that in applying the change framework, you have considered all angles and provided an opportunity through the process to uncover what’s missing.
The value of this framework is not only in boosting confidence in the change process, it also acts as a risk reduction tool by determining if the intended change is fit for purpose.
If you want to empower your people to bring change to life, you must first fertilise the seeds of change.
*Is the light of change on in your organisation?
Blog Tags: Change Management, Leadership, Change Frameworks