Leaders Need To Enable Change, Not Manage It
‘Change is the only constant’ – this cliché rings truer for organizations today than ever. As technology makes rapid advances in the very way business is conducted, the least an organization can do for survival is to walk with it. But, the fact is that change today has become frequent and this does not make it easier. This is highlighted by the fact that any change in an organization is only possible with the transformation in behaviors, attitudes and practices of people within the organization.
Changing people’s mind sets is obviously, a herculean task. But the good news is that, it is possible, if companies take the right initiatives and stick to them for long. Leaders are at the nucleus of this organizational change. To drive any change, leaders will have to ‘enable the change rather than ‘manage’ it. This is how:
Engaging and involving employees at all levels by clearly spelling out roles, scope of work and expectations is critical. It is important to confront fear of change by providing them with sufficient information about the desired outcome. Communication of precise details eliminates room for disappointments, negotiations and power struggles.
Leaders need to be accessible to employees at all times. This means they should communicate regularly with employees in order to boost their confidence, reduce anxiety and stay on track.
It is important to lead by example – this means that the leadership team will have to consistently show employees that they are working with the team towards achieving a common goal. Knowing that everyone, including the leaders, is on the same page will further motivate employees.
Leaders need to believe in the change themselves and maintain focus despite setbacks during the journey. Change cannot be brought about by a series of compulsive, baseless acts by leaders. They have to consciously listen to employees, coach them, answer questions honestly, and appreciate their small victories.
As they say, being prepared is half the battle won. If organizations are to prepare for any change, they have to build the necessary infrastructure and institutionalize the essential capabilities to constantly formulate change programs and successfully execute them.