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Friday’s Change Reflection Quote - Leadership of Change® - Change Leadership Means Challenging Assumptions

1990 - De Klerk dismantles apartheid in South Africa.

“Pronounced change leadership means challenging assumptions, engaging stakeholders, persisting resiliently, finding common ground, and constantly communicating vision”

👏 Happy Friday!


On this day, February 2, 1990, F. W. de Klerk announced the unbanning of the African National Congress (ANC) at the opening of Parliament and promised to release Nelson Mandela. This marked a pivotal turning point in South Africa’s history. Nelson Mandela had already spent nearly 30 years in prison for his opposition to apartheid and fight for racial equality. His impending release signified the possibility of peaceful negotiations and reform after decades of violence and unrest. F. W. de Klerk challenged the long-held assumptions and policies that upheld apartheid. This required not just risk-taking but also a willingness to admit that the status quo and long-standing beliefs were fundamentally unjust. The impact of this change was profound. South Africa’s transition to democracy brought an end to apartheid, dismantled institutionalised racism, and established a new era of equality and justice. F. W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela worked together to achieve this change and were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.


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✅ As F. W. de Klerk walked into the opening of the session of the Parliament that day, he told his then wife, “South Africa will never be the same again.” He went against norms perpetuated by his own political party to initiate reforms. As a change leader, he took responsibility for recognising when systems were fundamentally unjust rather than defending the status quo. He understood the need to bring the ANC and other groups to the table in order to gain buy-in and collaborate. Additionally, de Klerk persisted through setbacks over years of complex negotiations. The path to progress is never smooth. When talks stalled, de Klerk remained resilient and flexible to keep momentum; he remained loyal to his values and vision to inspire change. Change Leadership Means Challenging Assumptions.


“Pronounced change leadership means challenging assumptions, engaging stakeholders, persisting resiliently, finding common ground, and constantly communicating vision”


👉 When leading change, never forget that some of your stakeholders will have their own motives and will be asking themselves, “What’s in it for me?” No matter how good the wider change team is (leaders, sponsor, and the change team itself), how hard you work, or how important the change programme may be to the organisation, without good stakeholder engagement, you will hit major barriers. As mentioned in the introduction to this section, stakeholders can be defined as any group or individual who can affect or be affected by the organisation’s change, transformation, or initiative. Detailed stakeholder analysis and mapping are critical to ensuring the wider change team understands and manages resistance throughout the change programme.


Have a fantastic weekend with the ones you love and care for, enjoy some fresh air, exercise, eat, drink and be happy.


 

Peter consults, speaks, and writes on the Leadership of Change®.

For further information please visit our websites:


Change Management Body of Knowledge (CMBoK), Change Leadership, Change Management Global Thought Leader, Peter F Gallagher, Change Management Books, Leadership of Change Volumes 1 2 3 A B C 4 5 6 7, Change Management Fables, Change Management Pocket Guide, Change Management Handbook, Change Management Gamification, Change Management Adoption, Change Management Behaviour, Change Management Leadership, Change Management Sponsorship,
 

Peter F Gallagher is a Change Management Global Thought Leader, Guru, Expert, International Speaker, Author and Leadership Alignment Coach.

Listed #1 by leadersHum Top 40 Change Management Gurus You Should Follow in 2022 (Mar 2022).

Ranked #1 Change Management Global Thought Leader: Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Change Management (2023-2022-2021-2020) by Thinkers360.

Ranked #1 Business Strategy Global Thought Leader: Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Business Strategy (2022) by Thinkers360.

Ranked #2 Leadership Global Thought Leader: Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Leadership (Aug 2020) by Thinkers360.


Business Book Ranking

Change Management Behaviour - Leadership of Change® Volume 6, listed among the 50 Books from Thinkers360 Thought Leaders to read in 2022.

Change Management Adoption - Leadership of Change® Volume 5, listed among year-to-date’s (Jul 2021) most popular books on business and technology from Thinkers360 member thought leaders.

Change Management Handbook - Leadership of Change® Volume 3, listed among the 50 Business and Technology Books from Thinkers360 Thought Leaders to read in 2021.

Change Management Pocket Guide - Leadership of Change® Volume 2, ranked within the top 50 Business and Technology Books (Jan 2020) from Thinkers360 Thought Leaders.


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