I can’t remember being more excited for the launch of a new leadership development business simulation than I am for our upcoming world premiere of “Practical Change Leadership” in a few weeks for one of our lead clients. Developed in partnership with Dr. Elizabeth Moran, this immersive simulation takes the key concepts of her new book, Forward: Leading Your Team Through Change and presents an opportunity to practice the skills of practical change leadership.
In today’s volatile world, every day is filled with change and everyday leaders are challenged with finding ways of being effective change leaders. That’s why practical change leadership is for everyone!
Over the past few months, our design team has been working with subject matter experts and key stakeholders to identify some of the things practical change leaders should know and think about. Here are 10 quick learning nuggets that I thought we could share and make for a nice checklist of things to do in your quest to be a practical change leader:
- Set the vision and bring others onboard – As a practical change leader, you must have a strong vision for the change. This should include business goals and objectives that are measurable.
- Proactively identify barriers to change and manage the stakeholders – Any and every change will have barriers. Some of them will be difficult such as a key competitor just launched a new innovative product, and some will be internal like nobody wants to change what they perceive to be working.
- Lead and influence others to support the vision – Change doesn’t happen by itself. It must be thoughtful, practical, and it must have the support of the people involved with or impacted by the change.
- Communicate and effectively collaborate – It may take up to 10 times for the message to get through. Effective and practical change leaders communicate and effectively collaborate.
- Have empathy and build trust – One of the most important learnings from Dr. Moran’s book is that great practical change leaders have real and deep empathy for others during the change process. When you truly care for others and do the right things, it builds trust.
- Anticipate and respond with agility – One of the things about change is that it’s unpredictable. Strong practical change leaders take the time to think through the details and anticipate challenges and opportunities. When those challenges and opportunities hit, they are then able to respond quickly and with great agility.
- Have a strong focus and build momentum – Being a change leader is not for the faint of heart. You must have a strong, unwavering focus and then build momentum through successes.
- Build collaboration and teamwork – Change does not happen with one person leading the effort. It requires a practical approach to building collaborations, coalitions, and a team dedicated to success at the end of the change effort.
- Hold each other accountable – When building collaboration and teamwork, a strong practical change leader is able to create an environment where everyone feels comfortable giving feedback and holding each other accountable for their tasks and actions.
- Take risks and support innovative thinking- No change is easy, and no change happens with incremental small baby steps. A strong practical change leader encourages others to take smart risks and look for ways to find breakthrough innovations.
In summary, being a practical change leader is one of the most important roles you will play as a leader. These 10 learning nuggets can help you build your own approach and plan!