The business world has been well and truly shaken. Things that weren’t anchored down firmly, now find themselves in freefall. So transformation has taken a front seat. But how – and who – to drive?
Let’s start with the motivation for change. Strategically, operationally and at the human level, there will be common ground to find and illuminate in order to provide a collective starting point connecting divisions, levels, functions and teams. For big change to be successful and sustainable, it’s going to be quite a journey. But done well, the rewards are endless for every stakeholder.
What’s in it for me? That’s the first thing most human beings will be asking themselves when faced with the prospect of big change. We’re more likely to become invested in transformation if we believe it has positive purpose, is realistic, and has relevance to ourselves and our careers. Interesting projects, new technologies and genuine opportunities to contribute, input ideas, or advance knowledge or experience can be very attractive, setting in motion a new momentum to make change happen.
It can never be overstated that communication is king. Particularly when the ground is moving and people still need to feel rooted. Managing expectations is a big deal, and one that needs careful planning, execution and management. Frequency, content, timing, audience and medium are all interchangeable factors, and each situation and stage of the journey will have its own requirements and best suited means of communication. As a leader, you won’t always necessarily be communicating good news. But when you get it across in the right way at the right time, it can fuel people’s resilience and energy.
The scale and pace of change will differ accordingly, but it’s always a long haul. So it’s important to break it up into little milestones and find ways to celebrate the real and tangible progress being made. The end goal shouldn’t detract from the incremental achievements in the here and now. Recognition and celebration go a long way. Take time out to acknowledge, celebrate and have a bit of fun.