3 Keys to Better Lead Organizational Change

3 Keys to Better Lead Organizational Change
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Have You Been Asked to Lead Organizational Change?
With the majority of organizational change initiatives failing to make it successfully across the finish line, change management consulting experts admit that corporate transformations are challenging. But in order to compete and survive, companies need to learn how to better lead organizational change.

Based upon change management simulation data, we have observed factors that can make the difference between success and failure. To better lead organizational change, leaders need to strengthen three key areas or risk change management failure.

3 Keys to Better Lead Organizational Change
For many employees, change is inherently threatening; they fear that they will not be able to master the “new and different” and can’t clearly envision where they will fit or if there will be personal benefit. Change resistance overcomes most work change initiatives unless change leaders can better lead organizational change in three key areas:

    1. Organizational Change Clarity
      In order to activate organizational change, employees need to have a crystal clear understanding of the reason change is needed. Leaders must create (and co-create) a persuasive business case for the change and compelling vision for change that employees can believe in and commit to.

      Throughout the change process, it’s critical that leaders reiterate with clarity the rationale and urgency of the proposed change so that employees understand and support the greater reason why.

    2. Active Involvement by Those Most Affected by Change
      Effective leaders for change accept that stakeholders most affected by change need to be actively involved from the get-go. Leaders can’t just communicate changes (regardless of how compelling are) and consider that people will understand, believe in, and successfully implement the new ways of working and thinking.

      With people, go slow to go fast.  Invest the time to create the clarity, understanding, support, and motivation required to mobilize stakeholders.

    3. Change Honesty and Transparency
      Most employees tend to resist changes at work that they do not understand or agree with. Honesty and transparency works with change management. Make sure that everyone affected by change understands what is happening at the individual, team, and organizational levels — and why. A lack of transparency creates gossip, back-channeling, and mistrust in leadership.

      If you want your employees to trust where you are headed and how you plan to get there, you must not downplay, obscure, or misstate the current situation.  Change missteps will inevitably occur; deal with them upfront together — perhaps with project post mortems. The focus should be on what you have learned from the experience and how you can get back on track.

The Bottom Line
If you are contemplating a major change initiative at work, make sure you prepare your leaders to communicate the change with clarity, stay actively involved on a personal basis with those responsible for effecting the change, and honestly acknowledge the ups and downs along the way.

To learn more about how to better lead organizational change, download 5 Science-Backed Lenses of Successful Change Leadership

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