27. March 2017

Changing Change: 3 ways of changing the way you lead change

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CLP is offering customised change solutions for our international clients. We are working closely with our senior consultants, here specifically with Kendall Lyman and Tony Daloisio, USA, for this 500 words, to explore and deepen the topic of change leadership.

This 500 words is an excerpt of the upcoming book Change the Way You Change: 5 Roles of Leaders Who Accelerate Business Performance by R. Kendall Lyman and Tony C. Daloisio to be released June, 2017


 

Because of the rapidly changing pace of the business world, leading change has become as integral to a leader’s success as managing the balance sheet or implementing a new customer service program. Yet research indicates that less than 30% of change efforts succeed. Why?

Here is what we’ve found.

Most leaders lack a complete picture of how change happens. Too many continue to tinker with tactics and short-term fixes while hoping for transformation and long-term improvement. Many leaders ask others to engage and change without really understanding how to do that themselves.

All too often leaders are rewarded for doing their “day job,” so they haphazardly lead change “on the side.” This results in change feeling fragmented, complicated, or theoretical by those on the front line—those who are required to implement the change.

The current approach to change is incomplete. Until leaders adopt a new approach, their results will be elusive, left to chance, and doomed to similar low success rates. In addition, change fatigue and employee scepticism will increase, reducing the chance for sustainable change and real competitive advantage.

Great leaders of change positively impact business performance by fundamentally working differently from most leaders in three ways.

 


3 ways of changing change

  1. great leaders change how they think and talk about change

  2. great leaders change their approach to change by engaging both individuals and the organization

  3. change-leaders elevate what they do and the roles they play


 

First, great leaders change how they think and talk about change. They engage in conversations that address hard questions like: “How effective are we at delivering results? What do we need to do to increase our performance capacity? What needs to happen that is not happening now? If we were to start with a clean slate, what would we do differently? How effective are we as leaders? How do we know?”

 

Second, great leaders change their approach to change by engaging both individuals and the organization. Most authors rarely agree about how change happens. Some authors (and many change practitioners) argue that change starts with individuals. Others claim that individuals can’t really change until the organization does.

These premises led us to ask, “How does change happen? Is the most effective way to change an organization accomplished by helping individuals change so they, in turn, can change their teams and the organization (inside-out)? Or is the best approach to improve the organizational elements of strategy, processes, and structure, and then expect teams and individual behaviour to align with the changes so as to deliver better results (outside-in)?” Does it have to be either/or? For change to be sustainable, our answer is a resounding no!

Lasting change requires both an inside-out and an outside-in approach. To change a team or business, you have to change both the thoughts and beliefs and the structure and systems. Great leaders of change engage both individuals and the organization. We call this inside-out and outside-in change.

 

Third, great change leaders elevate what they do and the roles they play. With change becoming more complex, leaders must adopt new roles to enable the organization to find solutions to the new realities and obstacles of the business. Five roles are critical to lead change from the outside-in and inside-out: Focus, Align, Engage, Lead, and Sustain. To accelerate change, we must accelerate leadership! Not only must leaders get better at the process of change, they must also transform their individual leadership as well as the collective leadership effectiveness in the organization in order to improve fundamental performance.

Increasing individual leadership capacity and evolving leadership team effectiveness are rarely the focus of most transformation efforts; as a result, performance improvement becomes unsustainable. It’s not surprising that 70% of change initiatives fail to achieve desired results.]

By approaching change from the outside-in and the inside-out, change leaders can overcome organizational obstacles and enable individual behaviour.

As leaders play their roles well, incredulity will be overcome by belief. And as leaders proactively pull all the elements of change together to create sustainability at every level of the organization, even the most die-hard defenders of the status quo will want to be a part of the new order of things.

 

Yours,

Kendall Lyman, Tony Daloisio, and the CLP team

Excerpt from the upcoming book Change the Way You Change: 5 Roles of Leaders Who Accelerate Business Performance by R. Kendall Lyman and Tony C. Daloisio to be released June, 2017 by Greenleaf Book Group.