Change management is closely related to innovation which increases competitiveness. Usually, employees hear about change once the decision has been made by the leadership. There is an armada of tools and methodologies to bring change to life but whatever leaders do 70% of change efforts fail. Instead of finding out the deep reasons for those failures. Leaders attempt to find new methodologies or frameworks. They become famous for awhile but do not deliver the desired results. Just think of all companies implementing the agile methodologies…
Workshops, trainings, coaching are some of the most famous methodologies used during change efforts but they are just tools. They can be used and misused. They are very useful when you know why and when to use them. Most of the time, they are used as a plaster on an open wound, they are useless.
Why are change effort failing most of the time?
Leaders do not consider the human psychology when it comes to creating change. Let see what are three dimensions to consider when creating change:
Leadership does not impose change
One of the biggest learnings I want to share with you is that change should never be imposed by anyone to anyone. When you impose a change you face resistance. Even if the change benefits the end users. Humans do not like to be told what to do.
How can you achieve a goal if you cannot impose change?
Leaders that manage with a focus on human centered management make different kind of decisions than the ones still working in the pyramidal framework (imposing change). They follow a process that look like the following one:
Leaders start with why
Simon Sinek has a great video about the importance to start with why. I invite you to watch it here: https://youtu.be/u4ZoJKF_VuA?t=25 The nugget of knowledge is that people will follow you or buy your products when they can relate to the the reasons why you do things (your vision).
In the case where you want to achieve a goal in your company. It is important that you share your goal with the team or organization members. For example, a team leader received less budget in 2018 than in 2017. Instead of deciding to cut off spendings on his own. He explains the situation to his team and ask for their inputs.
Teams always come up with ideas on how to deal with the situation that a leader alone would never have had. An important condition for this approach to succeed is that the leader trusts his team and the team trust him back.
Leaders & mitmachers define desired the result and its impact
As a team you define the situation and the desired results. You may not agree on one final result. It is acceptable because it gives your team more exit doors in case one result is not achievable. It is also important to talk about the impact you want to have. Doing this will help you have a clearer vision of what is possible, achievable and desirable.
Make a swot analysis
Take the time to consider the threats, opportunities, weakness and strength you and your team have to achieve that goal. You can read the following article to understand how to make SWOT Analysis.
Be ready to learn and feel uncomfortable
New goals are not be easy to achieve. You need to try several times before achieving it. It does not feel comfortable. This is a learning experience where you expand your skills and knowledge. Some people may call that failing but I prefer to call that learning by doing. A child needs time to learn walking. Adults also need time to learn something new.
Just do it
Once you know the goal and understand the opportunities and risks that come with it. Commit to “Just do it” and adjust your actions when you are too far away from the goal.
Followership for all
Collaborative change means that someone takes the lead because he initiated the action or identifies with the goal. Others must learn how to follow the initiator. It is vital to consider few reasons why you would not follow someone into a project and be clear with the initiator about the reasons why you are not following. Here are 3 reasons why you should not follow someone:
You do not believe in the goal
It makes no sense to spend your time on pursuing a goal that do not resonate with your truth. Just don’t do it.
Is it too dangerous
You need to consider if taking action to achieve the goal will not put the life of the team, organization or individuals at risks. If you think so. You should let the initiator know that you will not participate to the efforts but won’t try to stop him / her either.
It is against your values
In some situations, you may be asked to take actions that go against your values. In this case, don’t do it. At the end of the day, you know that you did something wrong based on your value system. This feeling of betraying your own values is not worth any success or money. Your consciousness will chase you and you may face penal consequences in some very bad cases.
Connecting people: the organization
At the organizational level, change efforts can be eased by the use of technologies to connect the right people together or to follow up the evolution of a project. For example, the tool delgate matches the right employee to the a job and enables direct feedback. The role of the organization is to build processes, knowledge, and competence management in order to benefit from the skills and energy off all its members.
The use of new technology makes some roles useless but frees up the energy and power of people to solve issues that machines cannot resolve.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article. If you have questions do not hesitate to write a comment or write me under the contact section of the website. Just mention the blog you are referring to.
- Start with why by Simon Sinek https://youtu.be/u4ZoJKF_VuA?t=25