Being a Leader of Change


Call it a transformation. Call it a cultural shift. Call it reset. Choose your industry buzzword for organisation-level changes that impact people, process, and technology. The bottom line is that a task force, whether internal or external, is faced with implementing huge change with complex impact to cross-functional and geographically dispersed teams.

There are many processes, methods, and strategies to implement large-scale change, yet there is often missing a key ingredient. The inspiration of the people.

Step 1 of any project like this is to earn credibility and address the fact that teams don’t feel heard by their leaders, and then deal with the fact that leaders miss how much impact even a small decision affects everybody.

Frankly, whether you are in that task force, or whether you are wanting to enact change in your immediate sphere of influence, change without credibility won’t result in impact… simply change for change’s sake. And that just really annoys everybody.

So yes, change is here to stay (#cliche) and to ensure resilience … to make it real and sustainable, leaders must inspire teams as a part of the change rather than a side effect of it.

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Accept the Journey 

Aligning teams against a vision requires setting a good North Star, one that everybody recognizes and can use to adjust their path accordingly. This takes time. Each person interprets the vision based on their own history and experiences, so true alignment takes repeated interactions and intentional time.

Embrace Emotions 

Facts are necessary for specific action, and emotions are necessary for inspiration. To build trust, individuals need to clearly see how their contributions help achieve the North Star. To keep that trust, acknowledge when challenges and disruptions cause churn and angst and enlist people in helping overcome those challenges.

Share Ownership 

Making a decision and then delegating implementation will result in wasted money, distrust, and not only missing the North Star, but likely ending up in the wrong solar system. Participation is required at every level. So instead of an external expert team executing from a war room, include the teams and managers that do the work every day in helping design the change.

Create safety for the organisation and wellness for those affected by change by leading change from the inside out!

Crossposted on LinkedIn

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About Marian

My passion is centered around ensuring effective learning experiences that improve people's lives. Developing a learning mindset is my ultimate goal whether working with academic programs or corporate training; formal or informal learning practices. It is my belief that our potential for agility is limited only by our capacity for learning.