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Managing Change

Even the most highly considered, strategic leadership development strategy is effectively useless if no one knows about it, understands its importance
Businessman using a computer to document Change management in organization and business concept with consultant presenting icons of strategy. Organizational transition and transformation

Even the most highly considered, strategic leadership development strategy is effectively useless if no one knows about it, understands its importance, or cares about it. A refreshed or brand-new leadership development strategy is an organisational change, therefore, a considerate and deliberate approach to change management is required.

A quick search in to the world of change management will offer up a plethora of frameworks and concepts to consider, from Dr John Kotter’s comprehensive 8-step change process to Kurt Lewin’s simple but powerful three-step change process.

Do a deep dive into approaches to change management approaches and take note that strategic change management is more than just a checklist. It often requires a combination of key strategies that are tailored to your organisation’s unique environment.

The following are the five core strategies essential to effective change management:

1. Communicate frequently and openly about the change

Communication is the backbone of any successful change initiative. It’s not enough to announce your leadership development strategy once and hope everyone’s on board. A great communications specialist once said that ‘when you’re sick of talking about it, it’s just starting to sink in.’ It’s important to continually inform, update, and clarify. When your team understands what is happening and, more critically, why it’s happening, they are more likely to support and engage in the process. This ongoing dialogue reduces uncertainty and builds trust.

2. Involve stakeholders at all levels of the organisation

We’ve covered stakeholder engagement throughout this program, and as you roll out your leadership development strategy, it remains critical. Because you’ve involved your stakeholders at all levels in the planning and execution stages, they’ll be more likely to champion your program. You might find along the way that your strategy needs adjustment based on stakeholder feedback, so make sure you’re in regular contact to ensure you’re on track.

3. Focus on organisational culture

Your culture will strongly determine how your people respond to and embrace change, and if you’re waiting until a change initiative has arisen, it’s a bit too late! Your culture is the set of shared values, beliefs, and practices that shape how your team interacts and works. Culture must be continually nurtured toward receptivity to change, encouraging adaptability, innovation, and continuous learning. If the culture is resistant, your primary focus should be on cultivating an environment where change is seen as an opportunity, not a threat.

Every change initiative should reflect the organisation’s core mission and vision. If the change seems tangential or contradictory to these foundational elements, it will be challenging to gain buy-in. As you’re communicating your leadership development strategy, make sure you’re linking back to how it enables or strengthens your organisation’s mission and vision. You know that it does because you’ve considered it deeply in your design phase! Change requires energy, and before people invest their energy in something they like to know why it’s important and how it’s relevant.

5. Provide reinforcement and incentives to change

Last but certainly not least, reward the behaviours you wish to see, and publicly celebrate successes along the way. Humans are naturally incentivised by recognition and rewards. Whether it’s through formal incentive programs, public acknowledgment, or other motivational techniques, celebrating those who embrace and champion your new leadership development initiative can inspire others to jump on board.

By emphasising open communication, inclusive and ongoing stakeholder involvement, a nurturing organisational culture, connection to the mission and vision, and plenty of reinforcement, you can pave the way for the smooth and successful embedding of your leadership development strategy.

Share your thoughts

Share your insights on the key strategies for effective change management in organisations. How do you think open communication, stakeholder involvement, organisational culture, alignment with the mission and vision, and reinforcement contribute to the success of leadership development strategies?
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Designing and Implementing a Leadership Development Strategy

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