“As organizations evolve over time, stability and change must coexist — which is not a problem to solve but a polarity to manage”- Center for Creative Leadership
Today, more than ever, organizational change management has become a critical element in the business landscape. In a vastly unpredictable environment of new markets, dismantling once-reliable processes and strategies occurs rapidly and frequently, and taking control and driving change needs to be on every company’s essential to-do list. But easier said than done, right? According to research, across organizations, less than 45% of change initiatives are successful. The picture becomes even bleaker as we consider the aftermath of the failed initiatives: wasted time, resources, effort, missed opportunity, and diminished morale aside from financial considerations. So, why is the organizational change so poorly adopted? It all starts with the quality of leadership. Assuming a liaison’s role, a leader needs to effectively bridge his or her organization (and its goals) with people in that organization who execute the overarching strategy. Research in change management identified the 3 C’s of successful leadership skills that fuel thriving change initiatives.
Communicate. To forge the team’s “buy-in,” effective leaders not only need to explain the “what” behind the change but, more importantly, the “why.” Being transparent and demonstrating a clear link between the need for change and the company’s vision, in addition to benefits, will increase and reinforce the unity within a team and make it easier to adopt the change strategy.
Collaborate. The wise words of Aristotle- “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” is particularly applicable when it comes to teamwork. It is no easy task to fuse and manage an eclectic group of people and break them out of silos. Most certainly, setting an example, fostering motivation, and providing feedback are all qualities required for the undertaking. But the reward of putting effort into forming and supporting a group of professional individuals sets apart “good” teams from “great” ones.
Commit. Influential leaders that drive and negotiate successful organizational change have one thing in common: they stay resilient and persistent while never deviating from a course and a bigger picture.
When I became a part of Arpeggio’s management team, I faced quite an endeavor. Having an incredibly diverse and uncoordinated staff that has witnessed managers come and go as frequently as every six months, I set an initial target of aligning the team around a common goal while promoting trust, unity, and effective communication. In the beginning, getting their trust and “buy-in” was very difficult. As I recall, it took tremendous patience to ignore countless eye rolls and caustic remarks like “oh, this one will be gone in a flash just like the other ones,” or “nothing is going to change, everyone before her tried and failed.” I certainly had big shoes to fill. My winning strategy incorporated the 3 C’s, in addition to getting to know every one of the team members, lots of listening, and nurturing each individual’s strengths and unique skill sets. After three years of managing Arpeggio, I am proud to report that I am the longest-lasting member of the top management team with a proven track record of several successful change initiatives.
Aguirre, D., & Alpern, M. (2014, June 06). 10 Principles of Leading Change Management. Retrieved August 05, 2020, from https://www.strategy-business.com/article/00255?gko=6c601
Deshler, R., Tomasulo, J., & Cortez, P. (2020, May 11). The Role of Leadership in Change Management. Retrieved August 05, 2020, from https://alignorg.com/the-role-of-leadership-in-change-management/
How to Be a Successful Change Leader. (n.d.). Retrieved August 05, 2020, from https://www.ccl.org/articles/leading-effectively-articles/successful-change-leader/