Are we Change Leaders?
Forward thinker and Greek philosopher, Heraclitus once said: "Change is the only constant in life.” Fast-forward over 2,500 years and this still rings true for many organizations.
The ability to lead change is no longer for resolute change leaders or change leadership teams, in our current fast paced evolving environment. There is increasing pressure for leaders to deliver on results due to the unprecedented speed and wave of change, not to mention increased global competition and corporate social responsibility.
Organizations are becoming more aware of the need to be agile, responsive, and most importantly prevention of failed initiatives by embedding change leadership in the fabric of their organizations as a required competency to align with the demands of the new world, for the road ahead.
What exactly is change leadership?
Simply put, change leadership is a style of leadership that emphasizes the importance of improvement and adaptability in an organization, through the influence and empowerment of others. It is about urgency, being visionary, agile, and responsive during periods of growth, disruption, or uncertainty of business demands.
Every organization will have its unique leadership approaches, depending on their business type. Here are tips that I find significant in becoming successful change leaders, for the road ahead
Having a Clear Vision:
As mentioned earlier being an inspiring visionary is especially important for the success of a change leader. Having the ability to anticipate employees concerns in advance will allow effective management of employees fears while at the same time keeping them engaged and adaptive to change.
Effective and Transparent communication:
I think this is most crucial in driving change. Employees must be able to understand the need for change and the benefits for said change. They should also feel encouraged to voice their concerns in response to change.
Employees must be accountable:
This can be a leader’s biggest weakness, however fostering a culture of accountability has huge benefits including improved employee performance, empowerment of team members with a sense of ownership, and the ability to drive organizational growth.
There is no doubt that change can be difficult for organizations, particularly employees, but it does not have to be if leaders adapt an open mind and can provide a path, lead, and diligently work to ensure the success of the organization. A change leadership approach can become an opportunity to thrive, through a more human-centered, adaptive, and agile approach, for the road ahead.
In conclusion, I will leave off with a quote from another forward thinker prominent figure from days of yore, Charles Darwin, hit the nail on the head with his quote about change. The renowned naturalist, geologist and biologist might not have known much about business acumen, but there are clear parallels between his theory of natural selection and the business landscape. In his seminal book, Origin of Species, Darwin states: ‘it is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself.”
Are we forward thinkers in the context of change leadership?