Change Begins With a Leadership Decision
Every change begins with a leadership decision. Making the decision to institute change is not always easy. Change can be precipitated by economics, market forces, the environment, or the need to just “mix it up a bit”, to create new energy. Being prepared with focused planning, and creating a solid team of people to work with you, will make not only the decision but the process a lot easier.
A study conducted in 2013 by Willis Towers Watson found that only 25% of change initiatives are successful over the long term. That’s a 75% failure rate, which means that even the best planned and managed change initiative will have challenges, at the very least. So how can we minimize the risk?
Begin by putting yourself in a positive frame of mind. Change can inherently cause stress levels to rise and creating a starting high point will counter that upward trend. If you are the leader managing the change process or even one of the team, a steady hand will guide the team through stressful events. Be the reassuring and active force throughout the whole process.
As I tell my clients, and as I have written in this space before, there things you can control and there are things you can’t. It is impossible to prepare for every possible situation, so planning for the known is critical, and being ready to add time or extra room for the unknown is even more so. When you encounter an unexpected event your schedule should not be put off by much if you have built in some space. It will provide that buffer that gives you and your team the ability to deal with the unknowns and keep rolling with the change process.
Surround yourself with people to whom you can delegate, and be confident in their abilities and skills. Be clear with both your “intentions and expectations” about the process. Communicating and providing feedback are the keys to successful delegation; make sure your team understands this. If communication fails or there is not accurate