What is change leadership & how to apply it immediately
Many companies and employees are still trying to navigate through this new age after a global pandemic redefined the way we see and do work. People are now re-evaluating how they want to spend their energy by rethinking their work-life balance and assessing what kind of work will help them achieve that. Yet leaders at countless organizations refuse to acknowledge or meet this demand, causing employees to leave.
Inc. Magazine boils the cause of increased turnover rates down to one factor:lack of leadership.
This is why it’s vital for leaders to understand how to manage change. Fortunately, this understanding of change is being ingrained in the modern leadership teaching practices of higher education institutions. Those who take an organizational leadership degree are taught to act as change agents through developing skills in critical thinking, change management, and understanding the collaborative mindset. This helps develop an intrinsic knowledge of the business organization and employee behavior so graduates can help businesses better adapt to change. Alongside the above, this has also helped facilitate the further rise of a form of leadership specifically focused on increasing organizational agility: change leadership.
But what exactly is change leadership? Below we go in-depth into what it is and the skills you need to pull it off effectively.
Defining change leadership
This management style focuses on making organizations as agile and resilient as possible. It’s thus effectively capable of guiding organizations through change. Modern change leadership can cover natural disaster preparedness and recovery, as well as how to handle health crises like a COVID-19 outbreak in the workplace. More importantly, it tackles adapting to new technologies like social media, automation, and implementing remote or hybrid work models.
Organizations can use change leadership to become more agile and future-proof, improve their efficiency and problem-solving abilities, foster workplace productivity, and even increase sales in the long run. With factors like the pandemic, digital transformation, and the Great Resignation sweeping the world today, change leadership is even more necessary.
Change leadership skills
It can be challenging to adapt to change in a sustainable way for your business. In fact, we’ve mentioned that though many businesses prioritize change strategies today, only 33% of change programs succeed.
That’s why effective change leadership requires:
It’s important to have a deep understanding of how your organization currently operates before deciding on how to adapt to change. A deep understanding of your organization and how it runs allows you to critically assess your organization and its dynamics in terms of organizational behavior and psychology. You should also be able to thoroughly research the issues that need solving the most by studying your organization’s past operational trends and looking at precedents for possible solutions. This allows you to pinpoint the most beneficial changes for your organization — and the most sustainable ways to implement them.
Change leadership requires you to look at the bigger picture. Determine your long-term business goals and how others in your industry reach them. How can you take risks that inspire your staff while still accomplishing those goals? Place trust in your employees’ capabilities to carry out your plans by delegating tasks in a way that plays to their strengths. For example, high turnover rates may be resolved by introducing mentorship programs between senior and junior employees. With foresight, you can create effective change strategies that keep their momentum even amid disruptive circumstances.
When managing your organization through change leadership, you need to clearly convey your plans for change, how you’ll delegate the tasks involved, and how you’ll measure progress and success. Facilitate two-way communications throughout the entire process. Ask for feedback, acknowledge what you’re given, and use it to improve your strategies. More importantly, don’t forget to consistently maintain a human approach as you lead your organization towards change. Celebrate and recognize your team’s efforts in making significant progress in accomplishing your goal — and be understanding as your team slowly adjusts to the changes you’re implementing.
Successfully navigating through the modern world of work can be challenging as it becomes even more dynamic. Change leadership shows that you can successfully survive tumultuous events with the right approach — and you can even emerge out the other side victorious.
If you need help with change management, contact our team at Growth Molecules to help you ensure your transformation is led successfully.
Written by Rhys Jimena.
Article exclusively submitted to growthmolecules.com