According to a 2015 Harvard Business Review change-management skills are in demand. Leadership roles call for people who are “capable of driving transformational change” or who act as a “change-agent executive”.
An effective executive must be willing, when necessary, to institute the bold, sweeping – and at times unpopular – changes that fix things.
Leaders understand how to move an organisation swiftly forward while minimising disruption.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s Change Curve model explains how employee performance changes over time as they move through three stage of change: shock, depression and acceptance.
Phase 1: Shock
The shock comes from a lack of information, fear, and lack of context. Clarity of purpose and transparent communication mitigates shock.
Phase 2: Anger/Depression
Employees concentrate on small issues or problems that arise from the change to the detriment of bigger tasks. Employees may continue to do things the old way out of protest. Clarity of vision and compelling story to provide context; mitigates anger.
Phase 3: Acceptance.
When the change is in place employees, embrace new opportunities. Energy and productivity returns, reaching an even higher level as employees look optimistically to the future.
Is there a better way?
Individual reactions and pace vary. The ability deftly to manage organisational resistance to change is critical. A clear plan must be in place from day one that takes into account the personalities and workplace culture.
Your vision has to be profound, inspiring, clear, and motivational so that others seek to support it and drive it forwards. Start a movement, so that the change will take on a life of its own, and it can become unstoppable.
Communicate the “why” behind improvements and give insight into the areas of success, and where you lag. That provides context for change. Empower everyone in the project and listen, and adapt to their feedback.
Great businesses know that markets, and the companies in them, evolve continually, sometimes with disruptive change. Make it the imperative and create a movement, and sustainable profits will abound, and costly mistakes will disappear. It starts by having the real clarity that the very best thrive on.
Staying ahead of change…
We offer an independent review of your change strategy and give uncomplicated implementable advice to make it happen more quickly and less painfully.
To find out more book a no-obligation meeting with William Buist.