It is lonely at the top. That’s a fact borne out in my work with senior leaders. The higher up the organization you go, the fewer peers you have. The people giving you advice have their own agendas, not nefarious…
I often work with senior leaders who are navigating difficult transitions. Considering the amount of time and money companies spend on internal reorganizations, it’s fascinating to see some of the most basic principles of change ignored. Here are some simple things to bear in mind when leading change in your organization.
1. Clarity on the outcome. What are you hoping to achieve? What does that state look like? Write a description of the future state, being as concrete and specific as possible. Use the present tense to describe the new reality e.g. “It’s the end of Q1. Our revenues are up 20 percent. Staff feel motivated and are clear on their objectives. We are holding monthly meetings to track progress against goals. The leadership team is fully on board and having candid conversations about our challenges”… etc.
2. Clarity on current state. What is the actual current state of the business? Again, be specific. “It’s Q4. Revenues are flat. We recently lost some key staff. The senior team is divided on strategy”. Now compare the two and you’ll see the gap that needs to be closed. This creates your action plan.
3. Track progress. Set some realistic milestones to track progress against the desired outcome. Share the milestones. Discuss when you don’t achieve them. Adjust as necessary. Celebrate when you do meet them. Include staff in those celebrations and remember to thank people.
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