Change, it seems, is all around us. Many organisations I come into contact with are experiencing unprecedented change at this present time with progress being patchy and personal reaction to the required change being highly variable. So the leadership of those changes is of vital importance – perhaps like never before.
There are three essential competencies a leader of change needs to have. First off, leaders of change need to be competent in:
- Who/what/how dimensions of change;
- Cognisant of the fact that the weakest link in the overall change required, will limit operational performance in order to take people with you; and
- Ability to put into place the 5 essential elements of successful change, being:
- vision/skills/incentives/resources/action plans, because
- without all 5 elements, successful change won’t happen.
- EQ – higher discretionary effort is required in the area of emotional intelligence;
- Some managers are good technically but not with people. It then falls on the leader to bridge that gap; and
- Use hard evidence with those that think OD is fluffy! A leader who can influence the environment to instigate all 5 elements mentioned above will generate true benefits to the change process and reduce their managers time in having to deal with missing links.
- Either bringing in or developing the skills and competencies to effect change is absolutely vital. Without it, a leader will produce anxiety;
- Developing and embedding the vision and relevant resources for the future organisation design are essential elements a leader can drive. Without them the change process will produce nothing more than confusion and frustration;
- Without a leader delivering clear and regular internal communication to staff, bringing the workforce with the changes and putting in place resources for them to deliver the required changes, then there will be only slow, gradual change, even falling into false starts time and time again;
- Action planning is essential, and staff need to be involved in this not merely informed. Realistic action planning is a skilled function, the absence of which will result in anxiety and repeated false starts. In turn this will result in a total lack of leadership credibility and a universal response of “so this is the next fad” attitude from the workforce.
Are you a leader with these three core competencies and if so, do you always ensure the 5 essential elements of change are in place for successful change to take place? You would be surprised how many people answer yes to the former and are completely in the dark over the latter!