"Organisational change leadership is about effectively and proactively articulating the vision, modelling the new way and intervening to ensure sustainable change. These are crucial leadership skills"
Covid, the great resignation, the desire for hybrid working and quiet quitting have made us all aware of the importance of organisational change management. Add in the digital nomad, and it is clear we now live in an era which I refer to as the ‘Age of The Employee’, where employees want to feel included, valued, engaged and have a sense of purpose in their work. To navigate this era, leaders of organisations will need to have leadership of change knowledge and skills.
An organisation and its leaders cannot delegate change to a different and isolated internal change team or even experienced external consultants, expecting change implementation to supersede current normal day-to-day operations to become the new way of working. How can the new way of working be adopted by the employees, provide the return on investment, improve operational performance, create the organisation’s future revenue, and deliver competitive advantage without effective and proactive leadership involvement? Worse still, with continued leadership focus on normal day-to-day operations, the change team will not get quality resources or organisation agenda time, which are inherent parts of successful organisational change implementation. There are three critical leadership of change responsibilities:
Articulate the Change Vision: The first responsibility of change leadership is about creating and ‘Articulating the change vision’. This vision should succinctly describe how the organisation, product or service will look after the change is successfully implemented. It should be bold but realistic, it should paint a vivid picture of the future state that appeals to the employee’s hearts and minds, especially their purpose.
Model the New Way: The second responsibility for the leadership team in implementing their organisation’s change is to ‘Model the new way’. This is about making the leader’s change vision a reality by modelling the new way of working. The organisation and employees will adopt change when leaders show and model the new way.
Intervene to Ensure Sustainable Change: The final responsibility for the leadership team in fully implementing their organisation’s change is ‘Intervene to ensure sustainable change’. Now that the leader’s change vision has been implemented, this is about making it sustainable and normal day-to-day operations. Without intervention from leaders, the change will not be adopted or sustained.
Challenges and barriers can be listed into two main categories:
Consistent Challenges Throughout Change Implementation:
Normal Day-to-Day Operations: Balancing urgent daily operational activities that need to be completed against important strategic change management activities.
Leadership: Leaders not fully supporting the change in terms of their responsibilities.
Organisation Change Capability: Organisations constantly facing change recognise they need to use internal capabilities and have a standard approach.
"An organisation and its leaders cannot delegate change to a different and isolated internal change team or even experienced external consultants, expecting change implementation to supersede current normal day-to-day operations to become the new way of working"
This blog is based on my book: Change Management Leadership - Leadership of Change Volume 4
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Peter consults, speaks, and writes on the Leadership of Change®.
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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 (2022-2021-2020) by Thinkers360.
Ranked #2 Business Strategy Global Thought Leader: Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Change Management (Dec 2020) 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.