In this post we talk to expert leadership coach Stuart Hayes*, and find out the four steps that he uses in businesses to ensure changes in a business are both embraced by stakeholders and become long lasting as well.
In a business enterprise, the majority of us have actually been alerted at some point in time that, “if you’re not moving forwards you’re actually moving backwards.” In essence, this goes straight to the heart of why change is necessary to a positive and healthy business. Well balanced companies move with the times and recreate themselves. Unhealthy companies resist change, go stale and fade away.
Change is the core element of growth and in business change demands vision, a driving team along with a tight context if it is to be produced successfully and positively. This is why emphatic leadership is so important in a business.
But while talking about change, it’s important to not toss the baby out with the bathwater considering that, on the other side of the coin is the value of consistency which is also vital, especially in processes that apply to product, quality, profit or even, to some degree, organic growth.
So, this pair of contradictory principles must coexist in a healthy business. How do we execute that? The answer is to recognize that successful companies need change along with consistency, change being the territory of business leaders and consistency being the specialty of supervisors. Considering this pair side-by-side, it is not difficult to see why consistency together with change (indeed managers and leaders) are regularly testing to tie with each other.
In this post, I’m going to delve into the main components of effective leadership and how these aspects combine to yield favourable and sustainable change. As an experienced leader, the formula I make use of to produce this change includes a simple 4-step process which I highly recommend, as follows below:
1. Ask the Hard Questions.
Periodically, I wonder whether it is more difficult to know where you are actually starting from or where you’re specifically endeavouring to get to!
As business people and entrepreneurs, we frequently fall into the trap of viewing our endeavours through rose coloured glasses and neglect to truthfully perceive where we are setting out from – our ‘Point A’.
Acknowledging your actual point A isn’t easy: it is strictly accomplished by having the nerve to identify, ask, and then truthfully answer all of the confronting questions that apply to your business, your strategy as well as exactly how you are proceeding towards it. You know the questions; they are those tricky questions you more often than not stumble over when they hit you without warning at a party!
My suggestion* pull on your thickest skin, find another person to pinpoint then ask the questions that have to be asked … and don’t allow your vanity to hinder the genuine self-questioning that must come after. It might make the difference between success and failure.
2. Feeling the Reason Why.
Determining both the specifics of your ‘change vision’ (your ‘Point B’) and also the specifics of your true, core reason for change is likewise challenging. If there is an absolute number one secret for achieving positive along with lasting transformation, however, this is it.
If you don’t have the specifics, your vision is simply a desire. Without a deep and authentic reason as to why you wish to chase your vision, you will certainly struggle to move people towards it. People need to share your enthusiasm. Making the effort to connect with the core reason for change that deeply moves you, will be your best chance to move your team to head in the same direction with you.
Fortunately, those co-workers that do share and adopt your vision will stay with you and end up being the driving force for accomplishing it. This is why outstanding leaders appreciate the stick is not nearly as mighty as the carrot.
My tip* Identify the styles of men and women you will need to propel your change vision. Take some time to establish precisely who they might be and then what it is about your vision that could inspire them.
3. Design a Straightforward Plan.
From here on, the crucial elements of your success are sticking to what works, keeping it simple … as well as continuing to feed the interest that connects your driving staff to your vision.
Having clarified your ‘why’, assigning uninterrupted thinking time to recognising the essential pieces of your ‘how’ is crucial.
My suggestion* try to engage your driving group in this activity:
Determine the repeatable activities that will accomplish your objective (keep these simple).
Identify both the resources you have readily available and the resources you will require (actually require!).
Figure out the finite list of points that can obstruct your progression. Establish backup plans for any that are truly risky.
4. Attain Positive & Sustainable Change.
Staying on course and also achieving positive and sustainable transformation is a 99% leadership and a 1% management mixture of fuel, context and responsibility.
The fuel part is PR in its purest form. Its objective is to construct and then maintain momentum: communicate the vision, impart the simple, repeatable steps, celebrate successes … and ultimately train your driving group to do the same things. Each reinforces that the change vision is correct and that the team’s approach is the right one.
Notably, as leader, the code of conduct or ‘context’ you set up around your team and also its behaviour is fundamental to their capability to unify and achieve results. Your group will look to you to live by this code at all times and as you do it will certainly begin to take a life of its very own.
This is where keeping on track and attaining positive and lasting change needs your individual dedication, nerve and discipline: following the message you teach and getting in touch with your team in a genuine way when delivering it is most important.
Your ability to develop and maintain a solid context is directly commensurate to your capacity to do these things, and with a strong context your group will certainly self manage; self align; move mountains; and then generate the positive and lasting changes you seek.
My tip* Take a deep breath and then be prepared to be human, to acknowledge shortcomings and to be open to change yourself. You will be respected and then followed as a leader in a far more powerful manner when you have the courage to do these things.
*Stuart Hayes is a business and leadership coach from Melbourne, Australia.