Lead your organization through major change
3. Create an environment that encourages continuous learning.
The knowledge you and your people possess has long-term value for the organization. If you stop learning, you stop having the ability to contribute to the continued development of the organization. Learning is vital, because things change so quickly—technology changes, the industry changes, the marketplace changes, etc. You have to keep up and know what’s state-of-the-art to stay relevant to customers. Therefore, encourage your staff to attend seminars, read books, stay abreast of industry news, and seek internal feedback and mentoring. The more learning opportunities people have, the more valued they’ll feel, and the more they’ll want to contribute to the change process.
4. Hold people to their commitments.
No change will ever be complete if people abandon their responsibilities midstream. That’s why you need to hold people accountable for what they commit to. To do so, first make sure they have the skills needed to do the job. If they don’t, there’s no way they’ll be successful. Then you need to monitor their progress and evaluate how they are contributing (or not contributing) to the change process. Realize that monitoring doesn’t mean micromanaging. It simply means keeping the pulse of the whole work flow to ensure all the pieces of the process fit together and are getting done. When you find that someone isn’t contributing effectively, you must be willing to confront the person and deal with the problem in a constructive way that gets the work back on track.
5. In messaging, be clear, consistent, and continuous when communicating the vision and goals.
You have to be clear and consistent about the change, about what’s occurring, about what needs to occur, and about the vision and goals for the company. Spell out where the company is going as well as the plan to get there. When you are not clear and/or consistent, your message gets garbled and people don’t understand it. That’s when problems happen and change becomes risky. You think you’re communicating one thing but no one understands your real message, so they pull in a different direction. That’s why you must make sure everyone is on the same page. Also, don’t just relay the message once: you have to consistently revisit it and make sure everyone is still on board. Allow people to ask questions and, if possible, to contribute to the message. People buy into an idea more easily if they feel they took part in shaping it.