Telling people about a new
initiative usually isn’t enough for people to ‘want’ to make changes.
An action listed in a
project plan doesn’t readily trigger responses.
Change doesn’t happen on
its own. Way too much is going on. People feel they already have enough on
If you are asking people
to do things differently, you too may have to step out of your comfort zone to
try new approaches.
Try these 8 tips to
change up your approach:
the strategy or plan into a compelling case for change. Help others understand
the situation, the size of the prize, and why it’s critical to address now.
engage people in discussions to gain agreement, alignment, and commitment to
- Communicate even
when you get tired of the message. You may be surprised that someone is just
hearing it for the first time.
- Clarify the
actions you will take and what you expect of others.
- Be on the
lookout for catching people doing something right and provide positive
feedback, so you get more.
- Change is
uncomfortable, so expect people to resist, object, and express their concerns.
Get acquainted with the issues that get in people’s way. Stay ahead of this
discomfort by identifying the potential areas of conflict, and those sticking
points where people get stuck or blocked. Get people to try small actions
towards the new way.
- Rarely does
one organizational change happen by itself. Identify the organizational
interdependencies and create a timeline that prioritizes and sequences all the
activities, so people know what to focus on and when.
measure, and celebrate progress. Create a positive learning environment for
accelerating the change.
For more tips and
leadership strategies to lead your change effort, check out my book; Change
Up: How Top Executives Lead Change and Deliver Results, available at
Change is uncomfortable.
Some people like this feeling while most would prefer to keep doing things the way they always have done.
We need to find ways to become comfortable, with the discomfort of change.
In my latest book, Change Up, I lay out the Five Keys for Leading Change to give
leaders a simple diagnostic tool to assess individual and group readiness for
implementing the change.
Be Accountable. When you accept accountability for a change, you chart a course and
model new behaviors. You communicate, coach, and provide feedback to get people
to work in a new way; and you build accountability throughout the organization,
so that leaders and employees are responsible for results.
& Alignment. Because of different perspectives,
leadership teams can struggle to gain consensus about what to do and how to
implement a change effort. With agreement, the leadership team has a shared
view of the future. Agreement is about “what” you want to do and “why” it is
An agreement isn’t sufficient by itself. For instance, I can agree that changes are necessary but may have no interest in changing my behavior. Alignment helps people to define “how” the changes will be carried out through individual actions. When people are left to figure it out for themselves, implementation can be sporadic and disjointed, potentially adding costs to the initiative and sometimes even leading to failure to meet the desired results. Therefore, it’s essential to gain alignment for how the changes will be carried out.
Build Acceptance. During times of change, people can become paralyzed or resistant to the very changes that can help both them and the business thrive. People process changes differently—mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Too often, I see leaders announce a change and
expect that everyone will get onboard. One communication is usually not enough.
You can help by sharing what’s going to happen and why it’s important to act
now. Provide a safe place for people to talk about their concerns as well as
discuss how they can engage in new actions without feeling vulnerable. When people
are given the opportunity to understand and process the information, they can
determine how to take steps to participate in the effort.
Take Positi Action. New behaviors often feel awkward. Competing priorities can get in the way. You can help people take the right actions by focusing them on the right priorities and reinforcing new behaviors. This requires you to understand what people need to start doing differently and what they no longer need to do. This may require new approaches to getting the work done.
Accelerate the Change Process. If you want to get results and fast, then pay attention to your most valuable asset – people. People drive change. When you actively engage with people, they can accelerate results through consistent actions. Look for and remove obstacles that can impede progress and provide support and feedback as people work in a new way.
The Five Keys help you assess whether you are building engagement, accountability, and productivity for the change effort. The Keys will serve as a quick reference, a leadership lens, for ensuring that your people will be ready, willing, and able to execute the change. Use these keys throughout the implementation of an initiative, to help you understand what’s working—and what’s off track
More tips and techniques to successfully lead change can be found in my latest book; Change Up: How Top Executives Lead Change and Deliver Results available at Amazon.com! Or check out my blog posts for additional leadership strategies at www.hilarypotts.com.
To bringing your best to leading in these
Too many leaders and companies struggle to execute the very changes that will enhance the business.
Without a doubt, in these dynamic times, leaders need hope — and help. Leaders need a way to close the gap between strategy and results. By engaging people in the right way, people want to be part of the solution versus feeling they have to comply. There is a power of understanding the dynamics of change which opens new doors to engagement. When leaders create the environment where people want to be part of the change everyone benefits.
My new book, The Truth About Change shares practical insights and guides leaders to accelerate successful change initiatives, now and in the future. The book provides ways for leaders to bring their best self to leading change to:
- Organize and energize an organization’s greatest asset — human capital
- Gain agreement and support, and overcome resistance from day one
- Create a culture of engagement, accountability, and productivity
- Unite and inspire others to work and think in the “new way”
Successfully leading change creates healthy businesses and provides the competitive advantage to bringing the best products and services to market. The Truth About Change lays out a path for leaders to navigate the challenges typically associated with new and different solutions. You can find The Truth About Change: A Leader’s Guide to Successfully Executing Change Initiatives on Amazon.com.
[Order The Truth About Change]
Special thanks to all those who have been a part of getting the word out so that leaders across the globe can be more conscious about how they show up to lead change. What leaders do and say matters. How leaders convey messages and how they engage people makes a huge difference to bring positive change.
To leading change with excellence.
In these transformative times, the status quo can be a death sentence to a business. Change is essential for any leader looking to advance and deliver top performance.
I have personally led and experienced both successful and failed initiatives. I have been honored to work with top leaders of global companies and iconic brands, each trying to create a “secret sauce” to bring products and services to market. Through my own experiences and significant strategic engagements, I have learned some consistent truths about change, regardless of the type of company, the industry, or location. I want to share these truths with you.
Truth: Leaders who know how to navigate and lead change have a competitive advantage that enables them to reap the rewards in increased revenue and profits. Unfortunately, most leaders, while constantly initiating change, admit they are not very good at actually leading change.
Truth: If you want a different outcome, you must change what you and your people do. Everyone – from the C-Suite to the person in the field – has a role to play. But often people want the benefits of the change, without being changed. People rarely agree, accept, or adopt a new way merely by being told to “do it.”
Truth: Change requires people who are ready, willing, and able to make the change. If you want the business to achieve its full potential, you need to find ways to engage your people and your organization quickly in working in the new way. You can spend millions on a business solution, but if you can’t get people to use the system or deploy the strategy, you will not achieve the results you want.
Truth: Change initiatives are people intensive, and learning a new set of behaviors takes time. You can accelerate the change with the right reinforcement systems and behavioral engagement plans. Regrettably, too many leaders shy away from the human side of change; they find it easier to focus on the business plan tactics.
Truth: Leaders talk about what others need to do differently, but often don’t realize that change starts with themselves. It’s easy for you to forget you’ve been working on the strategic initiative for weeks and months, familiarizing yourself with the design and business plan. Once the initiative is announced, you expect people to jump into action. Too frequently, the people don’t understand the change or know what they should do. They feel overwhelmed and undersupported; they may do the wrong things, or not act at all.
At a loss of where to start?
Change starts with you. Knowing what needs to be accomplished, why it’s important beyond just the dollars and cents and how you plan to engage the hearts, hands, and heads of your fellow colleagues to want to change versus merely complying with your request.
For more insights about leading change, pick up a copy of my book “The Truth About Change” on Amazon and visit my website at www.HilaryPotts.com.
Being part of a high performing team can feel special and unique. There is a positive energy of being physically, mentally and emotionally part of something larger than yourself.
High performing teams go above and beyond achieving results. Something magical happens when members rely and support one another; each with a vital role to play.
From the outside, we see the outcome; however, there is much more going on beneath the surface to get to the end result. It takes effort, focus and hard work on everyone’s part. It takes a group of people willing to trust one another, to work together and possibly move through some uncomfortable periods to emerge as a high performing team.
The development of the team goes faster with face to face interactions. However, in this global economy, more and more teams are required to operate virtually. Virtual teams lose the physical dimension that can quickly break down barriers. A virtual team has to make an extra effort to engage with one another beyond the conference calls and other formalities. Each member has to be committed to communicating and collaborating so that each voice is heard.
Here are seven practices to get your team on a path to high performance.
- Align around a compelling vision – Get people excited about what could be, why it’s important and how they can be a part of something special and specific. Aligning around a common vision helps people get engaged, committed and able to rally against a set of ambitious goals
- Craft a Plan that Creates Urgency to Move to Action – Plans provide teams a road map with the structure for the way forward. Milestones and targets help team members work on multiple aspects of the vision with the knowledge of how their efforts fit into the larger plan. A plan provides the structure so as new information becomes available, the team can make adjustments.
- Define Team Principles and Agreements and Clarify Roles – Team agreements and role definition actually provide boundaries for people to be empowered in the areas they can influence. With empowerment, members can hold themselves personally accountable for their actions.
- Build Mutual Trust and Respect – Mutual trust is earned with the consistency of actions over time and the willingness to make it work for the team. Trust is developed by sharing and exchanging information, and doing what you say you are going to do. Too often people jump into the work, without talking about what it will take for each member to feel there is high trust within the team.
- Open the Dialogue to Have Crucial Conversations – High performing teams are willing to take on uncomfortable conversations as they know these very conversations bring creative solutions. They give each other timely feedback that helps each member perform at their best. High performing teams also welcome differences of opinion and diversity of thought. This means an openness to sharing and listening to one another so the best ideas emerge.
- Foster Engagement and Top Performance – High performing teams value the work of each person on the team. It’s about both working hard, as well as working smart. People are encouraged to bring their “A” game. And when people get stuck, or find obstacles in the way, they reach out to others for ideas, and inspiration.
- Celebrate Successes Along the Way – High performing teams win and lose together. They learn from the experiences. It means celebrating the small stuff; those mundane advancements that tend to get ignored but are the small milestones when celebrated that get people jazzed to do more. While high performing teams work hard, they know the value of celebrating something every day.
Organizational success is driven by team performance. Results are achieved by how people work and collaborate with one another.
How can you help your team better perform?
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