Change, change, change. Change is here!
One of the greatest keys to success in dealing with change is to accept the fact that change is something you must lead – it is not something you try to manage.
If you try to manage change, you think that some plan or process is going to create the acceptance and adoption that is needed. Unfortunately, change is less about plans and processes, and more about communication and connection.
Communicate with Clarity and Consistency
When you are leading change you know that you must communicate and do so with clarity and consistency. Anytime there is change, the number one thing on your team’s mind, is the question: “how does this affect me?’.
If you are a member of the team that is faced with change, you have this same question on your mind. Yet, as the leader of team, even if you are being impacted by change yourself, you must have a different mindset for change. You must be the change by leading the change.
Prepare for the Difference
Your communication needs to connect to your team in a way that it answers the questions on their mind. Be consistent in your communication so that your team will understand what is expected and how best to prepare for what will be different and new.
If you don’t know what is expected from your leaders, as the leader yourself, you must take the role of defining the expectations and gaining your leader’s agreement on these expectations. This is fundamental for you to lead change.
Good communication that prepares others for change is what a leader needs to do to ensure a successful adoption.
As the leader, you need your team to buy-in to the change. Yet, you must remember that a confused buyer does not buy. So be sure to gain your team’s buy-in, be sure to gain your leader’s agreement and communicate with clarity and consistency.
When you successfully gain buy-in from your team and your leaders, you will see more engagement towards making change happen; not just making change happen for change’s sake. Leading change because it is the right thing that is needed, at the right time. Give your team a reason to change, a valuable benefit that will impact them and their lives in a positive way. By impacting people’s lives in a positive way, they will in turn view change in a positive way. Too many leaders try to manage change and create fear, resistance and stress.
When you lead change, you focus on how the changes will impact your team. You care about what’s important to them and to make their lives better as a result of the change. Remember people don’t resist change, they resist when you try to change them.
There is Value in Change
Make the value to change so compelling that your team will see the benefits immediately. Help them to understand the need for change and help them move from accepting change, to adopting the change. They will become your change agents and help you be successful in the midst of change.
Creating change agents should be your goal. Change agents are people who move from trying to manage change, and how it will impact them, to leading the change and how it will benefit them.
As the leader of change, your number one responsibility is to lead change in a way that demonstrates the value for changing. You need to make sure your team understands and believes that they will far better off after the change than they are before the change.
Through clear and consistent communication , you will lead change and lead it successfully. Move your team from acceptance to adaption. Next, you need to move your team for managing change to leading change. Finally, move your staff from seeing change happen to believing change needs to happen.
Remember, everyone faces change, every day.
Some people decide that they need to try and manage change by playing the political game of survival.
Successful people decide that they want to lead change by becoming a part of the change for greater success. Now the question for you is: do you need to change, or do you want to change? Are you trying to manage change or are you leading change? I hope that you choose to want to change and do so by leading change.
Remember, valuable leaders are change agents, in disguise.