When you ask the typical person about a personal transformation in their life, the overwhelming sense you get is positive. However, if you ask that same person about a transformation in their job, the underlying emotion is fear or negativity. Why is that?
How can people feel invigorated by their personal goals, yet fail to see the positivity in organizational change?
Maybe it’s about empowerment on one end of the spectrum and loss of control on the other. Here are five ways that change management leadership teams can invigorate organizations to feel empowered.
What Is Change Management Leadership
The idea of change management leadership comes from John P. Kotter. A Professor of Leadership from Harvard Business School, he invented an eight-step process that businesses use to lead change in their organizations effectively.
These eight steps form the three phases of the change management process.
Phase 1: Creating a Climate of Change
In the first phase, organizations work to build urgency for change based around a compelling goal or initiative. The point of this phase is to create an organization-held shared vision.
Phase 2: Engaging and Enabling the Organization
In phase two, organizations communicate the vision and design organizational goals that can produce early wins. The point of this phase is to increase organizational buy-in.
Phase 3: Implementing and Sustaining for Change
In the final phase, organizations build onto the change to create organizational processes that make the change stick. By establishing processes and procedures around new organizational goals, it now becomes an institutional habit.
5 Ways Organizational Changes Can Empower Everyone
Great organizations tend to have a few things in common. When you look at the leading organizations in our global economy, you tend to notice a few things.
To start, they value their employees from top to bottom. Next, they foster creativity and change. Last, they have a cohesive vision centered around their brand.
Great organizations grow and change often, yet their shared vision and goal as a company remains the same. One example is Apple’s “Think different.”
Great organizations tend to have five strategic imperatives that boil down to one common idea: putting people first.
1. Inspire Through Purpose
Most changes in an organization are the result of operational or financial goals. It can be empowering and energizing for leaders of an organization, but not for average workers.
Great organizations empower and energize their employees by connecting goals to a powerful sense of purpose. Take Lego, for instance, a company that has grown way passed their generic blocks that we all played with as children.
Now, there are sets for everything you can think of from Star Wars to Harry Potter. The choices are endless. Today, we have Legoland. A popular tourist attraction designated to the brand.
They have undoubtedly gone through a series of transformations as an organization and a global brand. Yet through it all, one powerful purpose has remained constant.
“Inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow.”
Such a simple concept, yet so powerful, it is similar to Apple’s motto. Great organizations empower their employees by first inspiring them through purpose.
2. Go All In
Great organizations, inspired by their larger vision, attack their organizational transformations like runners attack their goal of finishing a marathon. They go all in.
Excellent change management starts with the purpose of going all in. To make changes, we may have to work harder, longer, and for a far off reward for our efforts.
Organizations may have to become leaner to remain competitive, similar to a runner shedding weight. Nonetheless, to win, you have to be willing to go all in.
To win, you must think about initiatives that drive growth, changes that streamline operational systems, and investments in both leadership and talent to push transformation further.
It is a deeper purpose, a shared vision that will make employees go all in.
3. Enable People to Succeed
To energize employees, organizations must empower workers with the tools, skills, and strategies they need to succeed during the transformation and beyond.
Like working on personal goals, there are moments of becoming along the journey. It is analogous to companies looking to grow and change in our global economy.
To fundamentally grow, we need to change. Change takes becoming in the form of learning new tools and acquiring new skills. It takes recruitment, development, and investment in all employees to find the success that’s waiting on the other side.
4. Instilling a Culture of Continous Learning
When organizations create a culture of continuous learning, they also foster a culture of growth. It makes the process of change more empowering.
To learn requires people to buy-in. To really learn, you must be all in. To be all in, you must have some greater purpose that drives you. One is a domino that affects another and creates a culture of continuous growth.
When someone learns, they form new neuropathways in their brain. In some ways, you can say, they are forever changed. They look and understand the world in a different way than they did the day before.
Companies that empower their employees also empower their whole organization.
5. Inclusive Leadership
For organizations to empower their employees from bottom to top, leaders must embrace cooperation to put people first.
In order to transform an organization, there needs to be a clear vision from leadership, a roadmap to get there, and an engagement to start working and building as a team.
When leadership puts people first, employees feel valued enough to share their ideas to add to the vision, creating lasting change and transformation in the process.
Change Starts From Within
Organizations that put people first inspire change and transformation. This is the power of change management leadership.
If you think your company could use assistance in adopting a change management leadership approach that puts people first, contact us for more details.
For more information on how you can transform your organization, check our blog for more insight into leadership, management, and organizational transformation.
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