by Dawgelene "Dr Dawj" Sangster
As a business psychology professional, I love to provide tips to leaders in being effective in their businesses.
Early in my doctoral program I took a class on leading through change. Professor Petroy was an amazing professor and always encouraged us to think beyond the usual and research, research, research! I had to answer a question on organizational change that usually required a 5-10 page answer for a single question.
While I was researching my answer, I reflected on my 20 years in corporate America and the various jobs I held in leadership positions. In my reflections, I realized that the desire to be the best organization required a commitment to change starting at the top; a solid vision communicated to the staff, and a willingness to be open to implementing change and making it work.
The change must start with leaders understanding their organizations, anticipating what the future might bring, and creating a strategic change plan for change. The crux of anticipating that change is the leader making viable efforts to motivate employees in seeing that need for change, feeling the passion in changing, and taking the necessary steps to implement the change. I guess you can say it's all about seeing, feeling and taking action.
In the anticipation of any change, there are challenges in creating a plan and having others follow it. Motivating employees to embrace change and do something different and out of the norm for them could spark resistance and create negative behaviors. Leaders must be willing to reach out and understand what matters to the hearts of their employees, as a way to build an effective vehicle for implementing change.
While change will always take place as the needs of businesses and people evolve, exemplary leaders should be able to identify what has to change, how it has to change, and then communicate that change to their employees in a way that will motivate them to see, feel and take action.
My questions to my readers that are business owners are:
- What challenges are you facing in your businesses?
- What steps can you take to assess the need for change?
- What level of commitment do you personally have to implement the change and see it through to the end?
- How have you motivated your employees to see, feel and take action on the change you want to implement?
- What AAR "after action review" plan do you have in place for 3 months, 6 months, 9 months down the road that will help you assess if the change is working for you?
- If the change isn't working, what are your next steps?
Change takes commitment and an honest look at what each individual can contribute to making the change work for the organization. Leaders have to be willing to begin the process and see it through to the end.