How to lead change effectively
I’m sure we can all resonate with the image above, whether we’re talking about climate change, human rights, or business improvement. Everyone wants change, but it’s difficult to do and even harder to lead, requiring continuous leadership development.
Change is inevitable, whether you’re responding to external factors like the effects of a pandemic, a recession & new legislation, or you have internal targets like saving costs, increasing productivity & improving customer satisfaction.
To make improvement work sustainable, change needs to start with engagement at the top and filter down through the organisation. Let’s see how you can lead change effectively.
"The reality is that the only way change comes is when you lead by example."
– Anne Wojcicki
Top 3 tips for leading change effectively
G, Director at Ad Esse Consulting, shares his top three tips for leading change effectively:
1. Communication & engagement
2. Role modelling
Watch the video below for more detail and explanation.
Great examples of leading through a crisis & inspiring change
Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand Prime Minister
Showing good leadership throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden guided the country with courage, transparency and empathy. As the Harvard Business Review writes, Arden communicated the plan effectively which “meant that people knew in advance that escalation was coming. They knew what would be required of them – and they accepted the challenge.” Delivered with clarity, honesty and compassion, Arden inspired the public with powerful statements such as “please be strong, be kind, and unite against Covid-19.”
Howard Schultz, Former Chairman & CEO of Starbucks
In a Forbes article reporting on an interview with Oprah Winfrey, the now ex-CEO of Starbuck, Howard Schultz explains the importance of being vulnerable as a leader; he says, “I think the currency of leadership is transparency” and “Don’t be threatened by people smarter than you.” This was particularly important during the 2008 recession.
Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors
The auto industry was experiencing difficult challenges when Mary Barra became the CEO of General Motors. In an article by Bob Rosen, Mary Barra shares her top three leadership lessons: keep it honest and keep it simple; make it about the company and the customer; and use kinetic energy to mobilise people.
Find your sea legs
Get everyone on board as leaders for change so they can make decisions for themselves without battling for your attention, and work together towards a common purpose. Two of my favourite books jump out that I think will help you to stay afloat when navigating the waters of change; Turn the Ship Around! by L. David Marquet and Be More Pirate by Sam Conniff Allende.
Let me know what you think. Maybe you’d like to discuss them as a guest on our podcast, Not Another Book Review? If you would, please reply to this email. Here’s our debut episode with Oyindamola Sosanya.
"I have been amazed by the commitment of our teams and that is a direct result of the way in which Ad Esse supported us in taking this forward."
– Sally Rivers, Dir. of Business Performance at
Royal Voluntary Service
Change is hard, but worthwhile for your customers, your organisation, and you. I hope this newsletter has helped you to gain confidence in leading the change you want to see.
So, what now? Where do you start? To ensure you’re changing the right things to get the outcomes you want, a diagnostic is a good place to start; essentially it’s a health check to determine your current state and find the root cause of your problems. Then you can lead with confidence, knowing that you’re going down a journey that will bring your desired change.
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