As a business leader it is always your responsibility to make sure things happen. When its in the companies and therefore the individual's comfort zone thats pretty easy. Often all it needs is a light hand on the tiller to make sure actions get completed on time.
When it comes to change in the business or the push for further growth then the situation requires a much more robust approach. One of they key messages here is that you set the standard. As the leader, whether you're a unit head or CEO everybody including your leadership team will take their cue from you. So if you are less committed to an outcome than your leadership team members they will default to your position.
|English: Change Management's Approval flow Italiano: Change Management, flusso della fase di approvazione (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Step 1 Do a plan of the change process.
Plan where you are going and what changes in business practises will be necessary to get you there. As part of that process you will need to identify what you are going to do differently and how that will change what gets measured. This part is particularly important as it will be these changes in your priorities which will be the source of most concern to your people.
Step 2 Be the First to Commit
You must be the first to commit to the changes. Having identified your new KPI's(key performance indicators) start asking for information that supports your new commitment get people used to the fact that you've changed.
Step 3 Involve Your Leadership Team
|(Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
This is a two part process, firstly get them together and a group and discuss your plan for change. Take feedback from the group obtain their buy-in for the change process. The second part is to meet each of your leadership team individually and discuss their own commitment to change and re affirm individual buy-in and agree how they will roll it out in their area of responsibility.
Step 4 Set up regular reviews
Use them to discuss progress and address issues where individuals commitment needs to improve. Identify the change blockers within your organisation, and set a course to neutralise them.
Step 5 Drive Change Down Through Your Business
Get your leadership team to adopt a similar approach with their own team, as you have to the leadership team.
This much more likely to deliver a successful change programme as it is driven down through the business. Regular reviews will identify issues which can be considered and the appropriate solution implemented.
If you need to achieve significant or rapid change its a good idea to do this through small multiple steps. You see once people make one change, the next becomes easier, the third easier still and suddenly change becomes the new norm.
To illustrate this let me recount how this was illustrated in a recent workshop I attended. Complete strangers were paired up and the rules were simple, take in turn to make one change about your appearance, the other person then had to identify what the change was. So one person would turn their back whilst the other made a change. Initially the changes were subtle and slow as peoples natural caution to change manifested itself, it was often something like a slight adjustment of a tie or removal of glasses. By the 5th round they were rapid and even outlandish, with jackets, shoes and even shirts were being removed; people had very quickly got comfortable with change.
Change still requires significant effort but the more frequently you pursue it the easier it gets.
Exigent Consulting provides specialist services for Managing High Growth, Business Turnaround, and Mentoring to the Small and Medium Business. We help business owners improve the profit performance of their business.