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?
If you found this article helpful, be sure to leave a comment. If you know someone that could use this information, please pass it on.
In Zen Mind, Beginners Mind, Shunryu Suzuki says “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in an expert’s mind there are few.”
All too often, I’ve noticed leaders assume they need to know what to do and have all the answers. Could our actions be inhibiting our ability to develop trusting business relationships? Could the need to be an expert be stifling the organization’s ability to perform?
A recent conversation reminded me how easy it is to fall into the trap of trying to be the expert. My colleague just entered a new role. He was regaling the nuances of his new job. In a few short weeks, he was already speaking about all that was wrong with the company and its leadership. He was rolling his eyes at the thought of yet another business review, saying “What a mess.”
I wondered, had my colleague moved too quickly to judging without fully knowing the people or understanding the business? Would he and the company be better served if he had taken on a beginner’s mind versus acting like an expert?
The entry into a new role is a great time to approach the assignment with a beginner’s mind. It’s a time to be open to the possibilities for learning and connecting. It’s a time to explore and identify the best approaches to leading going forward.
It starts with listening and creating a safe place for others to share ideas. Remember, if you are talking and telling, there isn’t room for listening and learning. When we inquire, ask questions and engage people in a dialogue, new ideas can surface.
Seek to understand how things operate without the need to assess, judge, or make a decision. When comments don’t fit our way of thinking it’s easy to discount the information and stop listening. The ideas and suggestions may make us uncomfortable. But, if we listen with a beginner’s mind, it is possible for new ideas and thinking to emerge.
Stay a beginner and avoid the pull to step in and be the expert. If we’re too quick to step in, it can stifle the development and expertise of others. This misstep could cause missed opportunities in the future.
What are ways you stay open to the possibilities?