4 Essentials for Leading Change Successfully

4 Essentials for Leading Change Successfully
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Essentials for Leading Change
It seems that change is inevitable.  What can you do as a leader to minimize the negative disruption change can cause to your organization and your teams?  It all starts with the essentials for leading change successfully.

Leading Change versus Managing Change
In our experience of nearly three decades leading change management consulting projects in the field, we have observed that organizations are generally better at the tactical and operational side of change compared to the strategic and people side of change.

Most managers are pretty good at putting the systems and structures in place to accommodate the desired changes, but it’s on the hearts and minds side of change — where change leaders have the oversight — that complex organizational changes tend to falter.

4 Essentials for Leading Change Successfully
The people side of change requires the ability to marshal resources, influence and motivate.  Change leaders create successful change through their people by:

  1.  Creating an Inspiring Vision
    The best change leaders are able to create a relevant urgency for change, a compelling business case for change, and a vivid picture of a better future that gets people excited. Their charisma and vision for change engage both the hearts and minds of their employees.
  2. Setting Clear Expectations
    While change leaders are able to motivate and influence the workforce with the power of their vision, they also must be clear about how the change will specifically affect the organizational, team, and the individual levels. Employees need to understand and buy into how they will need to behave differently and why it is in their best interest to do so.
  3. Ensuring Open Communication and Timely Information Flow
    Our organizational alignment research found the timely flow of information had the fourth greatest impact on profitable revenue growth, customer loyalty, and employee engagement. Change leaders must be open and honest as they answer questions and address issues that concern their workforce.

    Without transparency, workers often allow worry and mistrust to take over.

  4. Making a Long-Term Commitment
    Change leaders need to persevere. Change will not occur overnight.  The best way to keep employees engaged and committed is to break the change process up into milestones that can be celebrated along the way.

The Bottom Line
Don’t make the mistake of focusing just on the mechanics of change without taking into account the people side of change.  Create a picture of success, be straight with your employees about the challenges, stay in touch, treat their feedback with understanding, and continue to motivate throughout the process.

To learn more essentials for leading change, download 5 New Lenses of Change Leadership to Lead the People Side of Change

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