“Transformation” is pervasive. Change management is not a new notion for leaders trying to stand out against competitors and align their organizations for future success.
Consequently, the way organizations view change management has progressed. Across industries, organizations have moved from an outsourcing model to recognizing the importance of investing in this discipline internally to effectively support employees through change. Nevertheless, this unified systematic management of change only benefits an organization for as long as the focus remains on a precise change effort.
The Conundrum: The Current Pace of Change
In 2001, Ray Kurzweil, a widely respected futurist, remarked that “We won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century — it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate).”
We all feel it, it surrounds us: technology, globalization, disruptive innovation after disruptive innovation, the gig economy and constantly evolving workforce expectations, to only name a few instances. Consumers and employees alike expect a different experience. Organizational leaders scrutinize, formulate and launch programs to address these issues, but it’s not enough to exclusively rely on unified programmed change management efforts to “manage” people’s experience through a change.
The Resolution: Support Change Leadership Skills at Every Level
Organizations can only change one person at a time. Leaders constantly neglect to showcase each individual in an organization, including themselves, to emphasize the vital role each person plays in shaping their own experience.
Expectations need to change; so that every individual can bask in the limelight, inviting them to uncover their inner leader voice and become an agent of change, here and now.
The expertise needed to be a successful leader are changing, too. If you want to be successful in this ever-changing economy, you must implement and strengthen your skills in these areas:
Flexibility: You actually have a choice in how you react to change. Opt to see yourself as part of the future state, then see how this perspective impacts your experience through this change and ability to recover faster when new things come your way.
Ingenuity: We typically expect others to deliver everything we need just the way we want. Become proactive. Ask questions, use the provided resources, obtain knowledge and skills, and find a way to influence to a positive experience and successful result.
Coaching: Start by learning the skill of inquisitiveness; scrutinize and ask questions with the aim to honestly understand. From this foundation, help your employees to choose their standpoint, become ingenious and take action. Coaching is not about telling them what to do, but rather to encourage them into a place of personal leadership, choice and action.
Vision: People need a principle to embrace or they will work somewhere where they can. Take the time to construct the story of your vision, then share it — repeatedly. While it is concrete in your thinking, it is brand new for others; never presume that they know it.
Storytelling: Through stories, people more clearly understand your vision and can begin to see themselves within that picture. This is the point at which you shift from seizing their intellect to also seizing emotions.
If you want to lead and prosper in today’s ever-changing economy, cultivate these leadership skills in yourself and at all levels of the organization. Be a contributor in and shape leading through your own change experiences, encourage and empower others to do the same, and resolute in imparting a vision that others can relate to.