Change management isn’t new but sadly leaders are still pretty dismal at it.
Here are six ways you might be derailing your own kick@ss change management goals:
1. Assumed Consent
Everyone was in the meeting. Everyone saw the email after the meeting. Everyone agreed to the change.
You can’t assume consent to a change, especially if it’s a BIG change. If it’s going to involve changes to your team’s jobs, skills, and all the core bits and pieces that are a part of their life, then you cannot assume people are committed. The act of initiating a change is NOT consent to the change.
2. Flipping the Switch
We flipped the switch. It’s ready. It’s live. It’s all done!
You are out of your mind if you think that the simple act of turning on a new system or implementing some new procedure is going to lead to change. Without communicating in detail with the people about the change, flipping the switch is not going to work. You have to be cognisant that change management involves a whole lot of work, especially in the beginning.
3. Pain Free Plan
Here is the budget. Here is the timeframe. Here is THE PLAN. We just need to follow it.
When is the last time you were involved in a successful change management program that was done on time, on budget and with very little resistance? It doesn’t happen! Yes, you can do things to reduce that pain. But the expectation that there’s no pain or that you’ve got a plan, and it’s just going to be perfect, is madness.
4. The Hero
The leader. The expert. The saviour. The lor… (ok, that’s taking it a bit too far, but you get the point!). They will come in and make it all work!
The poor, lowly consultant or coach, or the leader themselves will sort all of this out for us. That one person will be the hero to pull us out of change management h3ll. NO WAY! You can’t expect that one person can come into an organization of any size from 50 to 5000 employees and say, “you know what guys, we’ve got the plan, we’re going to roll it out, and we’ll be sorted.” Doesn’t work! It requires conscious, coordinated effort across a number of leaders to really lead change effectively.
5. The Dictator
I’ve told them. They don’t have a choice. They’ll do what I say. (Cue the evil villainous laugh)
Oh, that worked well, for a number of leaders throughout history, hey?! This idea that I can just mandate or dictate to the people working here that you’re going to do what I tell you is a terrible way to lead. The dictator is one of the darkest forms of leadership. Want to be a better leader and not a dictator? Listen to the steps I’ve outlined in the podcast.
6. The Victim
This is happening to all of us. (“we’re all in this together” press conference vibes!). We just have to go along with it. It wasn’t my decision.
That’s such a terrible position to adopt. That’s weak a$$ leadership! And we do not want that. People do not follow weak a$$ leaders. They sure as h3ll don’t stay at companies, where you’ve got weak leaders.
Knowing all of these types of ways that leaders derail change, what can you do? Well, there are a few things. Listen to the podcast to learn how to tackle it.
Do the Diffcult Thing
I challenge you to be that strong, bullish, unrelenting leader regardless of if you’re a frontline leader through to CEO, what background you come from, or what skill set you have. I challenge you to be that leader that pushes back on these ways that leaders are derailing change, and start to show people that actually you can work in great organizations, great companies, great startups, where change is normal, but it’s not unnecessarily painful.
Keep being a kick a$$ leader.
If you need help unpacking your change, shoot me an email to find out how I can help.