One of the things leaders and organizations often overlook when implementing organizational change and transformation is that the change occurs at the speed of the slowest person to traverse the change curve. 
 
Change is external to the team member and is situational.  However, the transition is internal, unique and psychological for each team member, which causes them to traverse the emotional states on the change curve differently.
 
Leaders are in the business of making changes within their teams and organizations.  To do so effectively, they must lead the transition intentionally.  Leadership can't force their team members through the change curve, but they can lead them through the transition by creating a well-thought-out change plan to communicate and engage them throughout the entire process.

 

Learn more about our Advanced Leadership Transformation leadership development program.
 

What about those that resist change?  Well, resistance is pretty much guaranteed.  However, understanding why people resist change is necessary for leading your team along the change curve.  Preparation for resistance starts in the initial planning phase of any change initiative.  A leader must consider why someone may resist the change and then develop actions to mitigate these resistance causes.  Ignoring or not properly planning for them is a common failure mode of change! 

 

Although planning for resistance is necessary to reduce the magnitude and depth of any resistance, the leader must always proactively seek out those who resist the change throughout all the phases.  Having the skills to recognize the underlying reason they are resisting allows the leader to face any resistance with confidence and realistic expectations.

 

Learn more about our Advanced Leadership Transformation leadership development program.

 

Regular and consistent communication is another important aspect of leading a team through change.  Regardless if the change is good, bad, or indifferent, people want to be and stay informed.  Without effective communication from the leader, the rumour mill will definitely take over.  The problem with rumour mills is that the leader is often unaware of what is being communicated until a crisis!  At that point, clarifying and calming everyone down can be very challenging.  Proactively creating a two-way communication plan is important to have right from the first announcement of the change until well after the change has been implemented.  Determining what message needs to be sent a different times throughout the change, to what stakeholders, by whom, and using which media is critical!  However, establishing feedback loops so that the leader receives timely information from the team is also necessary.

 

If you're a leader, you lead change!  Remember, though, change occurs at the speed of the slowest person to traverse the change curve!  You can't force people through change, but you can lead them through it!

 

Learn more about our Advanced Leadership Transformation leadership development program.

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