A Journey Through Change
All journeys involve stages.
Consider the last holiday you went on:
Choose a destination —> make a plan to get there —> gather supplies —> travel to your destination —> arrive
Now think about how changes happen in the world of work:
A change is proposed —> costs & required resources are identifed —> a plan is developed —> the plan is implemented —> the change is achieved (or not)
So what happens when an organisation wants to implement a change? Having spent considerable time and effort determining the destination, leaders may use those age-old incentives to motivate their staff; status and salary. Maybe they even call upon that third golden motivator; fear of failure. Now that excitement has been created about the destination and it’s been ensured that people remain motivated throughout, can’t the leader simply wait till we get there?
This approach of focusing on the end outcome and assuming all involved will stay motivated to achieve targets, has resulted in numerous large-scale change failures. These all indicate that a well-funded idea will not always be realised. So how can leaders further increase their chances of success?
Rather than simply focusing on the destination and assuming everyone will want to get there, leaders must also consider the journey. As systems start to crash and staff are feeling unsure of how to proceed, the leader must consider the measures they’re putting in place to help the team along their journey. It’s in these moments of pressure, when systems fail and it’s not clear how we should proceed, that we revert to what we know best.
Rather than seeing their role as choosing the destination and assuming all will want to get there, a leader must proactively seek to identify blockers and barriers to change. Though these can sometimes be foreseen, they are often unpredicted. It’s as these blockers or barriers arise, the leader must ensure adequate support is provided to those that are on the journey. The next time you consider implementing a large-scale change, consider how you’re preparing for the journey and how you are supporting those around you as they are on their way.
To discuss challenges that you face as a leader and to determine how Alchemmy can best support you in implementing change, connect with me on Linked In or email Frank.Murray@alchemmy.com.