Perhaps you have never thought about yourself as responsible for change leadership. Yes, you know that change is around you. But most people think about how they will manage change for themselves and those around them. While we must manage many aspects of a change effort, that is something different than change leadership. If you don’t know the difference, you may not consider the question: “How do I lead change?”
If you are responsible for implementing a change of any size, there are things you must manage – there are timelines, project plans and budgets. There are PowerPoints to prepare, and communications to deliver. You must make the business case for the change, share the details about the change, and continue to communicate about it. All of these actions are a part of what most would think about when managing change.
Much has been written about all of these activities, and all of these are important to managing change. But none of them comprise the activities of change leadership, and alone they aren’t enough to create lasting change that people are committed to.
What is Change Leadership?
Change leadership is about more than informing people about change, explaining it and planning for it. Change leadership is as much about the people as it is the change itself. To lead anything means to helping people move in a desired direction. Once the change has been explained (change management), people must have time and space to talk about it and ask questions about it. Change leadership does beyond telling people about the change, to influencing people, and goes beyond informing to influencing.
Effective change leadership then is about more than the technical aspects of the change and more about helping people decide to engage with, act on and commit to the change.
How Are You Doing?
Now that you understand the context for the question, “how do I lead change?”, here are some questions for you to consider.
- How successful have the changes I had managed/led been?
- How do I view my role in a change situation?
- How engaged are people in these changes?
- If the change came from “above” you, how committed have you been to the changes yourself?
- How much discussion and dialogue typically accompanies the announcement of new changes?
- How much/often do you engage those involved in the change in the planning and implementation of the change?
Your answers to these will say much about how you view your role in change efforts. As you see yourself in a change leadership role you will answer these questions more broadly and inclusively. You will see your role as one of shepherding and moving the group to change, rather than pushing for a change.
As you make your mental transition to a change leadership approach, you will respond differently to resistance, be more open to the concerns and questions of the group, and most of all, get better results.
Change leadership requires more of you – because it a bigger and broader role than change management. It frames your role as one of helping people choose to change, rather than simply getting them to comply with a change that has been introduced. As you consider your next change role, consider taking this more expansive definition of your role – and know that when you do you will be more responsive to your team, and be far more satisfied with the results both personally and professionally.
Are you facing an important change – and perhaps some resistance to it? Would you like to be more intentional, skilled, and confident in leading change? If so, you can have immediate, lifetime access to our Remarkable Change Leadership: Leading Change Effectively Master Class. This solution will help you understand what it means to lead change, the factors everyone uses to consider any change, how you can create change today, and a foundation for leading other change in the future. You will repay your small investment in this Master Class within weeks – if not the first day!