Leadership Qualities Required For Developing A Strong Talent Bench!January 8, 2024
Transformational Leadership: Igniting Change and Inspiring SuccessJanuary 22, 2024
Change Leadership: People-First Skills That Inspire Action
While the speed of change is accelerating, organizational leaders face a wave of employee “change fatigue,” resulting in less active engagement and more active resistance to enterprise change initiatives.
So how can leaders influence their organization’s cultural “mindset” and inspire them to embrace the reality that change is not an event; it’s an ongoing series of experiences that will now be a part of everyday business life?
Addressing the answer to this question is at the crossroads of (2) leadership requirements that are people-first priorities:
- The FIRST is that Executive Leaders must now demonstrate solid “Change Leadership Skills” that are in service to their organization, starting with communication that is transparent and “trajectory focused” and ending with a relentless commitment to nurturing a collaborative community capable of innovating for the future.
- The SECOND is that CEOs need to urgently invest in training and development to build Change-Ready leaders across their enterprise to ensure they can deliver performance today and develop their next-generation talent bench to sustain their business growth in the future.
When BOTH the Executive Team and Talent Bench are equipped with the necessary Change Leadership skills to take on the challenges and seize the opportunities that today’s dynamic business environment provides transformational change and growth can be embraced and successfully navigated.
Understanding the Dynamics of Change
Change is an inevitable part of life, and the realm of leadership is no exception.
We are operating in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) business world where geopolitical, economic, social and technological changes are dynamically creating waves of anxiousness as we all try to assess, digest and respond appropriately.
While this is often a natural part of a business lifecycle, it all feels a bit more uncomfortable than usual. And, when things are uncomfortable, our instincts encourage us to “retreat and protect” ourselves. Yet, at this moment, that unconscious reactive instinct can put businesses and people at risk for “extinction,” whether on a business solvency level or a personal skill set deficit level.
This is why CEOs in survey after survey report that they are losing sleep about whether their organization has the skills needed to compete effectively in the future.
The reality is that business lifecycle changes, natural or otherwise, must be met with consciously being a “Change-Ready” Leader. To be Change-Ready, you must be skilled in the leadership fundamentals of leading yourself, so you have high levels of emotional intelligence and can demonstrate composure.
Applying “teaming skills,” whether as a team leader or individual contributor and collaborating to get work done horizontally across your organization is critical. Organizational level change readiness requires working ON the business and shaping the macro-dynamics of culture, talent, strategy, and performance. The ultimate definition of being Change-Ready requires facilitating progress and aligning action as a leader in all the roles you play.
So, with that context established, let’s explore what your people want regarding change leadership and how organizations can develop “Change-Ready Leaders” who can productively capitalize on transformative “entry points” to shape their future.
Transparent Communication with Trajectory
Change initiatives can be scary and challenging and may only sometimes work smoothly, and not surprisingly, and your people know this. So, right out of the gates, there is a low level of trust and a high level of skepticism around organizational changes.
Applying change leadership skills that secure organizational engagement includes building trust through transparent communication with a “progressive cadence.” This means sharing “where we were, where we are, and where we are going next” up front as well as throughout the change process.
In our leadership learning journeys, we call this communication approach having a “progressive mindset.”
When people understand the journey’s trajectory and are given both rational and emotional messages on the reality of what they are facing and how it will feel, their fears of the unknown decrease while their willingness to ‘take risks’ increases. For growth to occur, changes must be made, and risks must be taken.
Change Leadership requires that executive leaders demonstrate outstanding communication skills. With this in place, trust in the process increases, as do your chances of successful outcomes.
Inclusive Decision-Making with Shared Ownership
Proactively involving stakeholders in decision-making enhances weigh-in, buy-in, and commitment, which are critical steps in the change leadership process. Leaders who “genuinely seek input” and intentionally listen to employees, customers, and other relevant parties to gather diverse perspectives will not only deliver better decisions but also create shared ownership.
Stakeholders who see their fingerprints on the approaches taken will feel like they were “being composers vs. being imposed upon” concerning the changes being made. This, in turn, promotes community responsibility for executing the changes and ultimately delivers the organization’s collective success.
In our leadership learning journeys, we invest time in identifying the personality hardwiring preferences of participants. In the process, we uncover those who are “change resistant” or “change embracing.” With this information, a team or organization can engage productivity in empathetically understanding what is needed for change-resistant individuals to feel more comfortable.
It also provides insights into what change-embracing individuals might see earlier in the process as the possibilities available to the organization in engaging in this change initiative. Armed with this level of awareness, empathy, compassion, and curiosity can be fully leveraged to gain team alignment on the path forward.
Organizational “Innovation” Through People Powered “Innervation”
Successful Change Leadership practices are well SEQUENCED!
The dynamics of sequencing can be seen at the Organizational level with the need FIRST to create internal “innervation.” This speaks to developing a robust “central nervous system of integration,” which includes your cultural footprint, talent bench strength, and communication forums being in place and working well across the enterprise.
Once your “innervation” is in place, the organization can then focus its internal energy force on applying creativity and imagination externally and designing a strategy to create competitive advantage through “innovation.”
In our leadership learning journeys, we introduce our Signature Model called Organizational Excellence®, which defines the critical areas that a CEO and their executive team must focus on.
We share versions 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 with our client partners. In version 1.0, we introduce the (6) fundamental parts of the model. In version 2.0, we share (3) dynamic couplets that have skill-based enterprise applications. In version 3.0, we bring it all together with the (2) macro parts of the model, which split innervation and innovation initiatives so leaders can focus on each of the component drivers critical for creating their action agenda for success.
The Time is Now to Skill Build a Change-Ready Culture and Talent Bench
The solution for “change fatigue” is Change Readiness!
When your people have the skills and capabilities to ACT, empowerment becomes the operative energy force in your organization. A breakthrough insight we share with our client partners is that leadership skills are not only life skills but also cultural skills for organizations.
The ability to communicate, build healthy relationships, give “confrontational” feedback, engage in socializing ideas with productive conflict, use critical thinking in decision-making, hold accountability, and secure alignment so progress can be made are all skill sets associated with Change-Ready Leaders!
To build cultural skill sets, organizational leaders must invest in a leadership learning journey that includes their entire employee community. Only when your organization utilizes a common language, tools, and techniques to work together will your employee community be able to work at the speed of business with greater ease and productivity.
The old-school approach of providing leadership development to “the few” and hoping they can either individually change your future or magically teach everyone else what they have learned is ridiculous in today’s business world. Progressive leaders know what has yet to work; the question is whether they genuinely know WHY and whether they are now READY to engage in contemporary learning approaches that have been proven to work in delivering Change Leadership!
How to Leverage these Change Leadership Insights in Your Organization
For CEOs and their executive leadership teams who are struggling with changing leadership practices or who want to leap forward and use leadership development as a competitive advantage, there are solutions that you can provide to your organization.
However, there is one watch-out that you DO NOT want to fall victim to believing “you have time.”
Building cultural skills takes an investment of resources. While the rewards in our experience are breakthrough and breathtaking, most leaders who ultimately engage in this work with us all have the same response— “We wish we did this sooner!”
Introducing, The Leadership Rigor Virtual Academy, an enterprise-level customized learning journey specifically designed for private companies and family businesses. Finally, the competitive advantage you need to secure cultural connectively, talent engagement and build contemporary skills for today’s hybrid work environment. Beyond providing great content that utilizes colorful whiteboard animation, interactive activities, and cutting-edge micro-learning techniques, our user-friendly learning platform and high-touch program design and delivery are achieving levels of engagement that are off the charts!
Invite your organization to become Change-Ready leaders where the future of work, an amazing employee experience and collaborative peer-to-peer learning all converge to accelerate your Business and Talent Growth!
Start your journey with The Leadership Rigor Virtual Academy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org today!