Today in Change Resistors we’ll
tackle some common leadership pitfalls. These
behaviors cause leaders to underestimate the impact of change or inaccurately
set organizational expectations.
Skimming the Benefits
An organization is a
complex system. Change in one area has a
habit of cascading through many areas, requiring you to adopt a holistic
As we discussed in Leadership’s
Resolve, if you’re not prepared to tackle the tough problems – all of them
– reframe your effort to match your resolve or abandon it altogether.
Some common problems from
which leadership shies away include:
- Aligning incentives
- Defining new metrics (abandoning ones that are no longer relevant)
- Addressing personnel issues in a timely and appropriate fashion
Scaling down the impact
(time, resources, reach) will result in a scaled down benefit or, depending
upon how realistically it’s done, no benefits at all.
Leaving a Hole
When change efforts remove
or minimize organizational traditions or values you must plan to fill the void. What are the new values? What are the new stories
These replacements must
in order to minimize resistance. They
- Consistently demonstrated
- Communicated and rewarded
- Of equal significance to what they’ve replaced
When people are learning to
do their jobs in new ways everything takes more time. If deadlines can’t move then you may want to add
resources. If possible, implement change
during off-peak business cycles.
When that’s not possible,
frequent, clear, two-way communication can help set expectations about the benefits
and burdens of the plan. Be honest!
Remember that recognition
and incentives can go a long way in showing participants that their extra
effort is appreciated and vital to the company’s success.
Previous Posts in this
Collaborative Series, Outline
(updated today), Culture,
Bad and the Ugly, Passive-Aggressive
Next week we’ll discuss
process issues that impede change and then we’ll end the series with a summary
of some general principles.