When change was needed, I embraced it wholeheartedly! So much so, that I sometimes forgot in the planning phase, to include the people these changes would impact. Why would I? I was the leader and I knew what direction we needed to go in and how to get there! So, unfortunately, I didn't respect and trust my team enough to seek their guidance. Boy, did that approach put me in some sticky situations and I am ashamed to share, led to some serious failures! One big failure is that I lost the trust of my team and the BIGGEST failure is that it took a long time before I would admit to myself that it was my fault, not theirs!
Are you making the same mistakes?
I challenge you to think about your own change management process and ask yourself if you are doing the same things. It's ok, I won't judge!
I didn't understand the root cause: Sometimes when trying to make a change, we are so hyper focused on improving the outcome, we may miss the tiny gaps in the process that are leading to bigger losses. Guess who can tell us where those tiny gaps are?!
I didn't get buy in: Because we need to see quick wins, we may be tempted to move forward with our plan before getting buy in from the people who are doing the work! All that will do is hurt us because guess who would be able to quickly identify flaws in the plan?
I didn't find champions: It's one thing to see leaders excited about an upcoming change but it's something spectacular to see team members who've provided input, tested, and are excited to move forward with something new! Guess how much easier it would've been if I had champions by my side?
I didn't pilot first: Things may look great on paper, we may have the buy in from the team, but if we don't test it out first with a small group, we may end up with BIG losses. Guess how much I could have avoided if I piloted the changes on a small scale with a group of SMEs first?
Ok, so was it just me?
I'm thinking, no!
At some point in my career, I got the same message that many leaders get and that is we should have all of the answers and know what to do. This will lead to not seeking input from the people who report to us.
After all, WE are leading THEM!
Well, that never worked for me and it took major losses, tough conversations, and huge servings of humble pie (several), to finally get it. Once I got it and started listening more than I talked, things just started clicking in place and oh the wins that we had!!!!
Making the choice to include your team in process of change will only yield positive result for you, your team, and your organization!