How does one navigate the minefield of disruption?
Change is one of the hardest things for humans to embrace. We are, for the most part, afraid of change and avoid it to our own personal or business detriment. Without transformation or adaptation, companies can neither remain relevant nor successfully navigate changing business climates.
1. PREPARATION: The process begins by establishing an innovation identity whereby idea sharing, growth and innovation is encouraged if not expected. Strong leaders have the ability to sculpt a culture into a masterpiece that inspires action and innovation. Changing a cultural mindset doesn't happen naturally. It takes careful planning and preparation. It takes focused, strategic, consistent and intentional implementation strategies.
2. EMPOWERMENT: Leadership must listen with an open mind to new ideas and be willing to take the risk of incorporating those ideas. Idea sharing should be an efficient and streamlined process with minimal bureaucratic pain points connecting the workforce to executive leadership. Delete the phrase, great idea but, when ideas are shared! Reframe the approach to idea sharing with an improv comedy and theatre axiom; they think, yes... AND. The phrase yes, and, is a stable and promising lego block from which everything and anything can be designed and built. YES, allow the idea to be heard, YES, plant the seed... AND... nurture it with water and sunshine. Great leaders empower by listening.
3. COMMUNICATION: Once new ideas have been shared, evaluated and agreed upon, leadership must now clearly communicated those ideas, the implementation strategy and process to the remaining team members across the organization. What are the changes? When and how will the changes be deployed? How will it impact the company and its employees? There is nothing more paralyzing to employees than being left in the dark about the future. Let them know how the disruption will impact their lives. Former presedential speechwriter, James Humes says, "The art of communication is the language of leadership."
4. ACTION PLAN: Once leadership has decided on the new vision or mission, it is crucial to create an effective and concise action plan. Without the solid foundation of a well crafted roadmap, the odds of failure increase exponentially. Your team members will feel lost, fearful, confused and disengaged if the new objectives are blurred. If communication of your action plan is a slow and cluttered process, then its purpose is almost defeated before it began.
5. TRAINING: Successful companies invest in their employees through trainings to optimize the results of new ideas. Without training, it will be difficult for your team to jump on board and run to the end-zone for a game-winning touch-down. Set your team up for success.
6. CONFIDENCE: Along that precarious journey of organizational disruption, your team must feel confident on the following 3 levels.
- Your employees must have confidence in their leaders, confidence in the objectives and in the action plan.
- They must have assurance that initial failure is viewed as a stepping stone to success and not as a goodbye and thank you for your services type of outcome. If your on-boarding process is effective, you will have hired the right people... let them know you have full confidence in their abilities. Set them free and empower them to become their best selves by getting out of their way.
- Provide them resources and support when needed.
Disruption is not easy, but the process doesn't have to be painful, slow and filled with resistance. Leverage the tools. Become tomorrow's leader.
AT ENGAGE we specialize in transformational leadership. Our process is fun, relevant, actionable and memorable. We'd love to engage your team and initiate a cultural paradigm shift that will result in increased profits and elevated Customer Experiences.
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I hope this blog was of value. Thank you.