Leaders Must Prepare And Commit To Transformational Change

08 October 2015

Time and time again we see evidence of leaders not being fully prepared for leading transformational change. All too often, senior managers in large organisations believe that their main role in managing change is to give the authority to allow change to happen and provide any funding that maybe required.

The reality is however, that Transformational Change won’t be successful, or will fall way short of initial expectations unless it is led and supported effectively from Directors and Managers at all levels of the business.

From my experience there are five key things leaders must prepare for before embarking upon significant change programmes.

1. Set Aside Time For Transformational Change

You will need to reduce your “business as usual” time for day-to-day activities in order to instigate new actions needed to support the transformational change programme. Initially, 30% or more of your day should be set aside for this.

2. Ensure Continual Flow of Communications

Set up formal and informal communication processes for you to use to continually, state intentions and the Vision of the change methodology. If you think you need to say something ten times, it probably meanings it will require doing a hundred times!

3. Seek Advice Within and Outside Your Organisation

Unless you are a seasoned change leader, don’t assume you know it all. Seek advice from colleagues and associates who have experienced leading significant change programmes. Also research other organisation’s experiences too. Seek professional advice from leading change consultancies, such as NewLeaf International and other professional bodies.

4. Walk the Talk

Plan to spend time “in the work”. About 30-40% of your time as a leader should be spent “walking the floor” talking to employees who are involved in delivering the change, understanding the issues and concerns they have and (importantly) addressing them. Not every concern will need a lot of your time other than giving reassurance, but fixing real issues is a key part of leading change and moving progress forward.

5. Plan When You’ll Need To Say No

Prepare your strategy to push back and say no to your seniors and other functional heads.This is likely to occur when you need to resolve issues and barriers to progress and you’re receiving too many additional requests for your time.This will then erode away your time and focus on leading change effectively – so you’ll need to be able to recognise when a clear ‘no’ is required.

Martin Gummery, NewLeaf International

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