We often hear that progressive change is difficult and often impossible. Some truly believe change only manifests itself as the result of a drastic, forceful, and dramatic action; almost imposed by the sheer force of will. Meanwhile, others pause for the manifestation of change to adapt, to evolve and to see how it goes.
In reality, we live in a world shaped by a changing environment. It is an antecedent to innovation and progress. Change is the driving force for inspiration, drive, and performance within any progressive organization. So why is changed viewed as such a tall mountain to climb? Why do organizations seem resistant to it and why is change so slow to take hold and be embraced? Usually, the answer is fear of an unknown outcome. Most people are comfortable with the known and uncomfortable with the unfamiliar. Not fully understanding what is on the other side of the horizon shackles us with fear at the shore.
Fear is the antidote to action. Lack of action morphs into uncontrolled change which leads to eventual loss of organizational control of its destiny. Imagine if your local grocery store did not change out its produce once in a while. What would happen? Similarly, organizational processes, organizational structure, and leadership approaches need to be often refreshed to keep ahead of the speed of business in the global marketplace.
Your ability to influence change in ways the organization embraces is a key factor to your success as a leader. Risk management by design is orders of magnitude better than risk management by distress.
Here are three effective strategies that ignite sustainable change within your organization:
- Establish the right mindset for yourself and your team. Believe that change is essential to the growth of your organization. Start your day with the goal of improving something, anything minor or major. End your day by evaluating what you changed and if it needs further refinement. Challenge your team to do the same, to think differently about how they perform their work. Take this action every day and the compound effects over a 30-day period will be amazing. Before you know it, a culture of constant change will be embraced and revered.
- Accept failure as a natural byproduct of change. Allow your organization to fail and help your team gather up the scattered lessons from it as raw material to build a solid foundation of trust, respect, and diversity of thought. Obliterate the fear of failure and drive performance by design. Encourage respectful disagreement and use it to empower preparation, action and leadership development.
- Be consistent. Predictive consistency is a powerful ally for success. Your organization needs to know that you will not waiver from being there for them, from expecting excellence (yours and theirs), from driving change for their professional development and organizational achievement, and from your resolve to continue to grow as an influential and transformational leader.