A Note on Change Leadership

Posted by Nikhil Kapoor on

A huge difference is in leading an organisation through a change, as compared to times when things are normal. It would be naïve for you to say that there is no difference between everyday leadership and change leadership. To lead your organisation to a new place, change leadership has its own demands and requires a different mindset and an extra set of capabilities.

The Difference Between Change Leadership and Everyday Leadership.

We do not mean to dismiss that everyday leadership is indeed not easy. It takes a special person to motivate employees throughout organisation, drive towards results, satisfy investors and analysts, and socialize with partners and influencers. On a dissimilar scale, leading a function, unit, or division, such as Sales, requires its own set of abilities and discipline, including greater attention to detail and keeping your sales managers and reps focused on hitting their number on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis.

To put it in perspective, you may think of the difference as between peacetime (normal) and wartime (change) leadership.

In peacetime, you are essentially working towards the goals and objectives that have been in place for quite some time. Reviewing annual budgets and setting numbers and targets for the year ahead, by adjusting a few numbers is not leading through change. It is just the same old, same old and it is alright if you don’t become unworried, stale and stagnant. That is the time, when to operate at your peak and capacity, you need to train your employees, perfect your processes and refine your business.

But it’s time to change once you realize that’s also not enough. This change could be large or small, company-wide or contained within a business unit. Whatever the scope and scale, when leading the charge to a new objective, you become the catalyst, the driver, and the change agent. You need to inspire and motivate your troops to see beyond their current roles and the way they perform them to the end result of the changed organization.

Change leadership requires different skills and abilities beyond the norm (think of a turnaround CEO or manager), not the least of which is being able to manage your day-to-day activities while transitioning toward the changed business. You can’t really afford to take your eye off either ball (current or future).

Key Steps Toward Successful Change Leadership

Even if you might feel thrilled and excited to take on your new change, put that combative attitude on hold for a moment. Swith the perspective for this to be a marathon, not a race. You cannot send the front-line sales rep and staff into battle. Consider these steps towards successful change leadership.

1. Create the Vision

a. Leadership workshops. Get leaders together, and help them understand the need for change; give them a chance to contribute and create a shared vision. This is a great opportunity to assemble your ambassadors to hear about the change, begin to devise a plan, and identify milestones and challenges along the way.

b. Create a change story together. By working through the steps with your leaders, you’re building joint ownership and commitment among a critical group that will help you to drive the change. You have your reasons for initiating the change, but by participating in this workshop, they will be able to adapt and tailor the story to resonate with their part of the business, making it more personal and concrete for the managers and employees in their units.

2. Own the Vision

a. While you are converting your layers of leaders to adopt and embrace the new vision and changes, you cannot delegate your role in the process. If you convey an attitude of “It’s out of my hands now; hopefully, they’ll see it through,” you will be letting them know that it’s not that important to you or the business. You must be passionate about the change and guide others at every opportunity until the change is complete.

b. Help your leaders (whom you trust will become staunch advocates) connect the big picture to why they’re together in the workshop: What will the future look like, and how will you get there? Let them be a part of that process so that they also feel some ownership over the change and the path to get there.

c. Equip your leaders to “verify the degree of adoption” of the changed environment. Are employees doing what they’re supposed to be doing, or are they clinging to the old ways? How are you monitoring and measuring their progress? CRM systems are certainly a key tool when overseeing changes related to sales, but there are other methods to be employed.



We are a team of experts in Food Technology, Business Management and Workforce Planning, with the passion to achieve results for our clients. We connect global expertise of food ingredient manufacturers with the best practices of food manufacturers. We offer various consultancy services to our client namely the management, strategic, new product development, marketing research, sales and business development, human resource planning and many more. For enquiries, please write to info@theblueingredientcompany.com

(source: richardson.com)

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