3 Steps to Better Lead Change

3 Steps to Better Lead Change
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Change is a Constant
With rapid and wide-sweeping change a constant in today’s workplace, it’s a wonder that leaders are not better at managing it. They need steps to better lead change. McKinsey reports that nearly three-quarters of organizational change efforts fail due to:

  1. Lack of management support
  2. Strong employee resistance

The need for leaders and organizations to adapt and manage organizational change to keep pace has never been more important. Leaders need to accept the fact that they will at some point need to do things differently or their company is unlikely to continue doing much of anything at all.

How to Better Lead Change
Our organizational alignment research found that the highest performing businesses have leaders and employees who are highly responsive to identifying and making the changes required to stay competitive. As a leader, you need to do your part.

3 Steps to Better Leader Change at Work
Here are 3 steps to help you better lead change.

  1. Be Crystal Clear About the Why
    Perhaps the most important piece of effective change is convincing others why it matters. It’s not enough to articulate the strategy; leaders need to persuade employees that change is in the best interests not just of the business but also of the workforce.  

    From our perspective, the “Why” has three key components.  First, there must be enough dissatisfaction with the status quo.  Second, leaders must communicate the essential vision for change clearly and frequently. And third, leaders need to ensure that the business case for change is well understood, agreed upon, and owned by managers and employees alike.

    Above all else, be open to questions, expect push back, and be transparent about the why. This is how leaders gain employee trust and buy-in.
  2. Be Realistic
    Acknowledge to yourself and others that the change will not be easy. Set realistic expectations for how long it will take and how much coordination will be needed. Many successful change efforts are accomplished through launching small, easy-to-win prototype change projects that lead up to the final goal.

    This may work for your change initiative too. Regardless, it’s important not to underestimate the time and effort needed for successful change efforts.
  3. Be Patient and Vigilant
    One of the reasons that change is so difficult to achieve is that it must be accomplished along side day-to-day work. Production needs to continue in the midst of change. Many leaders neglect this.

    Regularly seek feedback from your workers to make sure they have all the support, resources, and time they need to make the changes happen. You may need to make adjustments in their workload to ensure they are able to deliver.

The Bottom Line
The ability to change should be a vital part of keeping your business healthy and competitive. Have you invested the time to articulate the rationale for change, plan adequately for the scope of the work, and support your employees as they implement the changes you seek?

To learn more about how to better lead change at work, download 5 Science-Backed Ways To Lead Change

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