Human beings are creatures of habit – so embracing change can be a big challenge for us, especially in the workplace. However, when a business is failing, or not performing in the way we want it to, change is clearly required. So why do some companies seek advice from consultants like us, ask us to facilitate an improvement project and then fail to implement it successfully?
The answer is simple: no one in the company is the champion of change.
As consultants, we can only spend a fraction of our time with any client. It would be impossible for us to be there all day, every day, overseeing the project and monitoring its progress. Instead, we have to give business advice and the tools for change as they work to put those improvements in place. We’re on hand to answer queries, or to defend strategies that may be challenged by the workforce, but we’re not in the engine room dealing with real-time obstacles. That part of the process falls to you.
How to Lead Change
It’s no mystery that the projects we facilitate that enjoy the highest success rate are driven by strong leadership within the business. So how can you follow in their footsteps?
Firstly, you need to have a vision and to share it. This vision should be communicated continuously and the entire team should be working towards it. When production pressures, customer demands and employee resistance try to thwart change, you need to keep the vision in mind and refuse to allow anything to derail it.
Secondly, be prepared to change yourself. The chances are that as someone high up in your organisation, you’ll be a part of the reason that change is needed. By being self-aware and ready to modify your thoughts and behaviour, you’ll give this change the best chance of success. Every owner or senior manager casts a shadow across their organisation. Your behaviour influences that of those who work for you. Be that champion of change and give your business the boost it needs.