A frustration often voiced by managers who are trying to bring about change in their organisations is a lack of commitment from those at the top of the organisation to take a lead in championing change. The success of organisational change is dependent to a great extent on how well it is led. Good change leadership means spending time communicating a vision for change, it means securing the necessary resources to make change happen and it means acting as a role model for the change. Without this, change is unlikely to take hold. So what can we do to ensure that leaders lead change?
1. Remember that leaders and mangers are people too, so they can have personal misgivings about any given change. So it is up to executives to bring senior managers on board and for senior managers to bring managers and supervisors on board with change. Only once there is confidence and a will to change at all levels of management can change succeed.
2. Find an excuse to get leaders together to discuss the principles of change e.g. give them a ‘master class’ in change management (don’t call it training!). Use the time you have to get them to examine why change fails and to discover for themselves that their active involvement is the difference between success and failure.
3. Expose leaders to the pain of poorly managed change (e.g. through case study examples) then help them work out which buttons they need to press to avoid disaster.
4. Empower leader to be successful e.g. by providing then some simple tools, such as activities they can run to get their people to get them engaging with change and taking ownership for making it happen.
5. Make sure that sponsors of change are those whose teams are most affected by it e.g. the operations director whose team needs to work in new ways with a new IT system not the IT Director whose team is responsible for implementing the new IT system.
Remember, some leaders think that change can be delegated so your most important task is to help them realise that they must be front centre when it comes to making change happen.
For more on this see ‘Leading Change’ workshop at www.5forcesofchange.com/offer/