Show Your Team That Change Can Be Positive
Have you ever had to make some changes to your department or your company and everyone starts to panic? By following a step-by-step process, you can lead to transformational change in your organization. Because emotions are strongly held, it is better to lead change by showing than by telling. By inspiring your team with vivid pictures, videos, images, and examples, you can facilitate emotional change that can lead to individual and organizational change.
Establish a high sense of urgency with the team by demonstrating the problem and showing evidence of its impact on your current state. Recognize that if you demonstrate anger or assign blame in describing the problem and establishing urgency, you will create defensiveness, distrust, and fear. Frightened teams struggle to develop innovative solutions when they’re mired in the muck of status quo preservation.
With urgency established, begin to build a strong, diverse team of leaders who are committed to collaboration in affecting positive change with a positive perspective. By establishing a cross-functional team, you will be able to ensure direct, candid conversation that establishes trust and allows the team to “push” and also “pull” to lead change. Pushing involves redirecting or reassigning team members who are “stuck” and pulling involves inspiring the team with new business models and positive perspectives!
Remember that culture eats strategy for breakfast. When it comes to changing and transforming behavior in your company, you must change the culture first. If your team is willing to embrace new values and beliefs, their behavior will naturally follow. If you don’t change their inspirations and motivations by changing their values and beliefs, you will be rowing against the current. Attitudes are deeply held and changing them involves a deep change at the infrastructure level, which means at the level of principles, values, and beliefs (in other words – culture).
There are times for stability in the life of a company, there really are, but they are few and far between. Businesses cannot afford to be focused on standing pat or consolidating their market position when the world is changing at warp speed daily. More often, companies need to embrace change and it is crucial that they change in a positive way that reflects appropriate aggressiveness.
Don’t allow the urgent change to be derailed by a lack of planning or a lack of attention to detail. Nothing breeds contempt like incompetence. If you’re going to implement a new compensation plan for your sales team, do your homework, and make sure that you’ve sufficiently prepared for every possible obstacle. Don’t let your new software implementation be sidetracked by bugs or a faulty launch, because the team didn’t test aggressively enough, or didn’t sufficiently work out the details of the launch methodology. Have Plan A, Plan B, and maybe a Plan C and D too.
Encourage the team to take true ownership at all steps during the transformation process. Don’t allow team members to bring you problems with that sheepish look in their eye that says “We’re Stuck!” If the team brings you a problem, engage them in developing the solution immediately. Lead them to feel comfortable to bring problems to you with ownership and potential solutions. Value the potential solutions and encourage them, as it will allow your team to feel confident in taking ownership and solving problems.
Authenticity at all levels of the organization will bolster the team to drive positive change. Let’s be honest, important change always needs to start at the top of the company. If you expect the team to dig deep and work extra hard to make the change happen, they had best not be working on it during the executive retreat to the Virgin Islands. Again, common sense should prevail. The executives need to provide ownership and leadership examples by sacrificing as much as the associates. Be there working along with the rest of the team over the weekend, or in the wee hours on Monday night, don’t ask the team to do more than YOU are willing to do. Change starts with you. Lead by example.
Talk To A Coach
Michael is an award-winning Executive Development Coach and Business Advisor. Michael founded Michael Beach Coaching & Consulting, a firm that provides coaching and consulting services to fast-growth companies all over the United States. MBCC’s coaches work regularly helping C-Suite Executives, their Leadership Teams, and their Emerging Leaders to take their leadership skills and their “game” to a whole new level, working on things like Emotional Intelligence, Executive Presence, Communication Mastery, Conflict Resolution, Operational Excellence, and many other business and leadership disciplines. During the months of May and June, MBCC is offering you a limited number of no-cost, no-obligation two-hour discovery consultations, where one of Michael’s coaches will engage with you to determine strategies to help you with your leadership challenges or strategies to help your organization to solve some of its most pressing issues. If you’re interested in setting up a free discovery consultation and seeing how powerful coaching could be for you, contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org.