So, what is the one thing I recommend you do to prepare leaders to lead change if you were short of time?
Be clear on what leaders need to do to support the change.
BY DOING THIS:
- Share three main activities championing the vision, role modelling new behaviours, and removing roadblocks with leaders
- Give examples of what "good" looks like for each
- Provide ongoing feedback on the three activities
Leaders generally make or break the success of a large change initiative. Most surveys cite sponsor engagement as the number one success or failure factor of change. This is because people imitate their leaders. Everything a leader says and does is scrutinized by employees who watch for signs of commitment or resistance to change.
Often, leaders are unclear of their sponsorship role and therefore don’t fulfill it well. Make it simple for them to understand and perform their function by focusing on the three most important sponsorship activities – communicating the vision of where the organization needs to go, demonstrating the behaviours that enable the change, and removing obstacles to progress. Give them examples of what “good” looks like for all three so they have guidelines to follow. Providing immediate and candid feedback will help leaders lead by example through the transition to the desired future.
Leader Feedback Tool: What feedback do I need to give?
Beginning with positive observations followed by corrective ones reduces resistance to improvement.