5 ways to lead people through change

5 ways to lead people through change on HR Grapevine
24 Nov 2016, Carole Gaskell on  Executive Grapevine 

Uncertainty and change is the new norm and something leaders must get used to by continuously changing and innovating themselves, to stay ahead in a fast-moving world. That’s according to Carole Gaskell, Managing Director of leadership development specialist, Full Potential Group. “Process driven methods of change fail to deliver strong results,” said Carole Gaskell. “Instead it’s a people driven focus, involving employees at every stage of the initiative that determines success.” In April 2016, Nationwide launched “The Big Conversation” giving every member of staff a voice on the organisation before decisions were made on the process of managing change. Leaders sought to understand what’s important to their team before embarking on change, which is an important trait in change leadership. In this vein, Gaskell shared with us her five golden rules of adhering to a ‘people-driven’ approach to leading in uncertain times.

  1. Be purposeful 

“Whereas change management focuses on the WHAT – the strategy, the planning, the processes and the objectives – change leadership questions the WHY. Why is this change needed? Leaders should continuously inspire people with the purpose, vision and objectives for the change. “They should understand how their people are feeling through the uncertainty through regular coaching, and encourage them to share their views on the changes taking place around them.”

  1. Empower people to act

“Listen actively, engage people in the HOW, and coach and empower them to act. “One of the biggest derailers of an agile culture is leaders creating dependency, whereby they like to have control and are more comfortable micro-managing. It takes courage and trust to let go and empower others. Clarifying expectations upfront, supporting empowering behaviour change with inspiring role modelling, quality conversations and holding people to account are all key.”

  1. Know what motivates your people

“Motivation is often the missing but crucial ingredient in a change programme. It’s the energy that makes change happen because an energised team will use discretionary effort to fast track a change initiative to success. “Truly understand what motivates individuals in your team. Use this to then design their roles around what drives them and align these collective drivers to the organisation and its values. Managing talent and recruiting on motivation as well as skills can make a huge difference to both productivity and performance.”

  1. Be true to yourself

“As change is about people and not process, gaining and building the trust of individuals within your team is ever more important. To do this, leaders need to be authentic and true to themselves by ensuring there is consistency between what you say and what you do. “Reliability, meaning what you say and telling the truth are fundamental.  Sharing how you really feel and being open and honest with your own leadership stories, discussing your successes and challenges and owning up for your mistakes, opens up people’s hearts and minds. Great leaders use their full brain – they connect intellectually with the head, demonstrate heart and act with guts.”

  1. Get used to change

“Change is the only constant in businesses now and how you lead and manage change plays a huge part in delivering real results. Agile leaders have an open, adaptable mindset which becomes part of everyone’s DNA. “There are six stages to re-wiring for an agile mindset: react, reflect, repeat, refine, re-wire and review. It requires high emotional and motivational intelligence, plus an ability to release talent by embracing the opportunities of new customer experiences and continuous innovation within a diverse workforce.” read the article on Executive Grapevine

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