Our previous installment of the eight-part series Leading Organizational Change discussed how to create a sense of urgency in your staff and bring all levels and departments into the fold. The next step: find leaders to help you make long-term, transformative changes.
Identifying Your Change Leaders
Every company, corporation, and non-profit has the power to define their company culture, but no one person is capable of doing it single-handedly (except for possibly the CEO, but more about that later). Bringing about change in any organization requires the efforts of every employee, but certain individuals must bear greater responsibility than others. These are your change leaders. Their roles:
- Set direction for change
- Develop innovative strategies to meet goals
- Decide where to focus energy
- Seek out support and resources from other departments when needed
Qualities Your Change Leaders Must Possess
Your change leaders must be reliable, trustworthy, and embrace the new vision. They also must have the influence and energy to inspire action in not only their subordinates, but others as well. To see that your strategy is implemented at all levels, bring together individuals from a variety of job roles, levels of expertise, and departments. While it’s good to promote based on native talents and merit, choosing several higher-level managers is advisable.
Here are the questions to ask yourself about each potential change leader:
- Can they develop strategies to meet the new vision?
- Can they communicate to large numbers of people?
- Can they eliminate minor obstacles to tackle larger ones?
- Can they prioritize and deliver results when needed?
- Can they lead and manage multiple projects at once?
- Can they incorporate new approaches into the organization’s existing culture?
Does Your Coalition of Change Leaders Pass the Test?
Now that you’ve got your group of change leaders assembled, take a step back and look at how their talents complement one another. Your group of change leaders is called your Change Coalition. If the answer is “yes” to the following questions, then you’re ready to go.
- Does the coalition include individuals with institutional power, broad expertise, and high levels of trust and credibility?
- Does every individual possess leadership skills?
- Is there diversity concerning gender, age, and race?
- Are there enough change leaders for the task?
How the Change Leader can Help
The Change Leader works with the private sector, governmental departments, nonprofits, and educational programs to foster leadership and build high-performance cultures. Stay tuned for the next piece of our eight-part series, Leading Organizational Change, where we’ll help you nail down your goals and create a strategy to meet them.