Who Needs Leadership Change?
Are you curious as to why we’re going to need leadership change ?
With ultra-fast growing markets, world deregulations and continuous innovation most modern business leaders will tell you that they struggle with trying to multitask all aspects of their business. Whether that’s reading and writing reports, responding to emails, coaching and empowering employees or keeping their eye on competitors and the constantly versatile social media platforms and so on.
As you read this – you maybe thinking “what’s in it for me?” Fair enough, so if you are a business leader and want to know what type of changes we all be expecting to see in the next few years, and you’d like to save yourself stress, time and of course a lot of money, then put on a brew and take a few minutes to read on.
How can business leaders do all of this and still make time for boardroom battles and successes?
The answer is simple, through change. Not a fancy word. But change is that type of word that can strike fear into so many of us, but one thing’s for sure change is inevitable and it’s how a manager, team, or board of directors manage the change, that will determine how it will be received by employees.
Over the past two decades, I owned two businesses, I’ve read a fair amount of books about businesses of all sizes. I have examined dozens of case studies, observed how they overcome obstacles, analysed their strategies and sales techniques , some are really simple quick wins, others are much more complex so I won’t go into detail now.
Apart from my grandfather, I’ve never met the perfect leader. If you have, please do let me know.
What I’ve learned is that change comes from within. From listening, gathering data, sharing questions and doubts with others. My grandfather helped me see that first and foremost, that behind every business there are real people, with values, principles and needs. You just need to sit, ask questions, look around and collect information from them.
I’ll briefly talk you through the concept of a change leader, required skills andexpertise to be an effective change leader. I agree that going forward we can argue whether it is possible for any individual to become a change leader and what differentiates one from being capable of dealing with leadership change and manage a team of individuals. I guess it becomes a frequent question.
What is required to lead change?
A modern leader will need to be a team player, have a good bag of social skills and above all be a good listener. A leader also needs to consider opinions coming from everyone below him and be able to keep everybody happy whilst increasing performance and/or productivity.
So finding the effective leader, it isa very challenging task, right.
Okay, we also know that leading involves business culture change, its components and above all the driving engine – its employees. He or she will need to strong, have a pragmatic vision, gel with the team, be charismatic and trustful, just to mention a few.
So can we ask : How can a leader manage and can he manage to be a leader?
I believe that the majority of people aren’t born leaders, however they can learn how to become one. Here are some ideas.
In 2001 Kotter claimed that a successful manager may not necessarily be a good leader and vice-a-versa. I agree.
As mentioned above, businesses need to change constantly in order to stay competitive; however, achieving a successful change in performance is difficult and requires skillfull help to avoid major issues in the change implementation.
While working in corporate industry for many years, I learned many ways to lead projects, used Kaizen, Kano, DMAIC, and many others. However, for the purpose of this article, I pick-up on two strong methodologies. I believe, there are others, but these are my favourites to guide a sustainable change that can really help turn a change project into a successful improvement project.
These are: ADKAR and DMAIC
Why the integration of DMAIC and ADKAR in change/improvement projects?
When it comes to leadership change we are talking about crucial elements such as : human, management, processes and technical sides of the project change.
I believe that dealing with the human side of change, is one of the most difficult things.
Employee resistance and the ineffective management of the people side of change can be your worst barrier in a project. So, to save time and money, you could consider introducing a change management approach, such as “ADKAR” which is a structured approach to changing businesses from their current position to a more desirable market position.
ADKAR stands includes five change phases:
- Awareness: Create understanding
- Desire: Shares desire for change
- Knowledge: How to change things around
- Ability: Skills to implement those changes
- Reinforcement: After the changes have been implemented.
The benefits and advantages:
ADKAR is a complete goal-oriented model that allows teams to prioritise and focus activities on specific tasks.
The major advantage of ADKAR is that it works from the individual level moving upward, ensuring that each individual is ready for the change and well equipped for the transition.
ADKAR allows an easier implementation of change, as project manager (Pms) can follow and manage phases before moving onto the next. The model could also be very helpful for a stand-alone project execution or combined with Six Sigma projects.
For the processes as well as technical side of the change, I would suggest mixing ADKAR with Six Sigma methodology approach.
Why Six-Sigma DMAIC? Because it is a structured problem-solving methodology widely used in modern businesses – with proven record.
DMAIC stands for:
Define: the project’s goals providing deliverables for both internal and external customers.
Measure: Key aspects, set-up map processes, identify and develop data plan, collect baseline data, processes to determine errors.
Analyse: facts to help determine the root cause(s) of the defects processes.
Improve: process by eliminating defective systems.
Control: future process performance.
Benefits and advantages:
The DMAIC structure encourages creative thinking within the team. Used to detect issues, improve business’s and customer service performance. DMAIC can also allow you to perform robust analysis and implementation processes around areas such as: business objectives, products, services, internal and external relationship, training, development and performance management systems.
The main learning here for all leaders facing change is: create internal fluid communication process and keep it going, allow individuals to gain quicker understanding of sustainable change and successful projects through integration of ADKAR and DMAIC.
Some of the required tools: communication plans, affinity diagrams, work breakdown structure, critical and control work plan, and risk assessment log will help you achieve glory.
Continuous improvement is an ongoing team effort that makes any business stronger than its competition. Change management is a multidisciplinary structured approach to shift individuals, teams, and businesses from a current performance to a more innovative one.
To wrap up this article, I believe that to be successful in going through with leadership change we all need to understand and use the following factors:
1. Absolute clarity about what needs to change and why (external & internal aspects)
2. Communication, engagement, commitment – (why, what, how, who, by when etc of the change)
3. Involvement / empower people with the right tools. Leadership and responsibility for change at all levels.
4. Align strategy and culture – including people/ skills development.
5. Progress reviews, risk analysis with feedback loops.
6. Celebrate acknowledging the transition phases, people achievements.