You don’t need me to tell you that turning round a failing business is difficult. Having the right strategy and good organisational skills, plus a good product, simply aren’t enough these days.
You also need full commitment from a team that wholeheartedly believes in the forward-looking ideas of a leadership team they can really trust. Without that commitment, you will fall short of any long-lasting change you might want to bring into the business.
How can you get people to be totally with you in any change initiative you want to introduce? Here are some tips:
1) Agree the change or transformation journey
Get people to tell you their fears and challenges concerning the changes you are planning. Then get them to agree what changes would be beneficial for all. This journey is then one that is looked forward to, rather than resisted.
2) Be absolutely clear who is going to be involved, and how
You need to deliberate, thinking carefully about the nature of the change you will be going through. That way, you will be providing benefits in terms of the way change is brought about and the extra motivation required for sustained implementation. So, you need a coherent involvement strategy for all who are going to be affected by the changes. Who will drive it? Who will strategize it? Who will implement it? Be clear on what the involvement will be from those who will be affected.
3) Model the desired changes you want to see
You can’t expect people to accept and drive change if they don’t see you and your management team actively being involved, motivated by what the results will be, and dealing with challenges in a proactive way. Be the leader of change that all your people can follow, so they see the journey as one to be enjoyed as opposed to be endured.
4) Embed the change in everything you do
Looking back over your shoulder at how things used to be will only distract the momentum of change from your team. Resist the temptation to look at the change as painful. Get people trying out new ideas that link in with and support the changing way of working. Change will only become the norm if people recognise how much better things are as a result of the forward-thinking opportunities that will exist.
Commitment will not come easy from people, because there is always going to be the risks inherent in any change initiative. Build people’s hopes on a new future by discussing results that will come, not harping back on what used to be. That way, the level of involvement you can expect from your team will be voluntary, not forced.
Looking for more information on change management? These resources:
Originally published: 17 August, 2012