Monday, July 11, 2016

Drive Transformation: The Vital Role of the Champion!

Senior leadership provides the credibility necessary for change to be successful. It is critical that your senior leadership supports the change effort from the top and makes a large commitment to it; whether the change involves new processes, new policies, new systems, or human capital.  If your employees feel that your leadership team does not care about the change effort, they then think, “Why should I care if management doesn’t?”  A clear vision and case for the change needs to be communicated to all levels of your organization by using stories to paint a picture of what success looks like and your desired results.

Appointing the right person as champion of your change effort is vital.  This individual should be someone from the senior management team, but who is well-liked and respected by both your management team and front-line employees.  This individual should be someone who is not afraid to address the elephant in the room and not just someone who does management’s bidding and afraid to buck the status quo.  This person is ultimately responsible for the involvement of others, including your senior management team, at all levels of your company in the change management process.  The champion needs to have the authority to align behavior to the change process.  Most importantly, the champion must have the ability to listen and connect with your employees.

All levels of management need to support and actively lead by example the behaviors needed to drive active involvement in the change.  This may require additional management training.  Actively seek out and act on the feedback of your employees.  Remember, your employees all adapt differently to change.  Oftentimes as part of the management team, you have had time to debate and discuss the change, whereas, your employees have not.  Extend that same courtesy to your employees, by pulling them into the process from the beginning.  Employees will see any issues or problems from the outset as they know their jobs best, as they are hands on with your processes, customers, etc…  Employees will then also better understand your desired results and feel ownership in the process – making communication and buy-in of the change much easier.

Lastly, as the change process is occurring, pay attention to the change itself.  Ask your employees how the change can be improved?  What barriers to implementation are occurring?  This shows your front-lines that you are involved and they should be too.  Remember, if your senior leadership team does nothing, neither will your employees.

Idea Share of the Month!
Create an innovation champion.  An innovation program must be managed – it is not a put into place and it will run itself type of program.  A point person should have accountability for managing the program and working with the team to improve the system as necessary.

Frame of Mind Consulting understands the unique DNA of your organization, which is necessary to turn any organization into one capable of leveraging the full idea potential of its employees.  Would you like to drive connectivity and ownership throughout your company?  Contact me at (860) 559-7942 to set up your complimentary consultation during which you will receive some invaluable tips that you can apply to your business right away.

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