How The Best Leaders Introduce Change

Becoming the leader that people will follow requires that we communicate change effectively.

We must take into account that when we have teams and individuals performing at a high level, they don’t like to be disturbed from perfecting their routines.
Now that they have become “high performing” it is our responsibility to ensure that any change we introduce is absolutely necessary towards achieving the mission.

Leaders must understand that any material change in team structure, direction, or process results in lower performance.  This situation exists until the teams and individuals are able to clearly see the new road the organization will be taking, how they can contribute, and evaluate their desire to take the new course themselves.

Exemplary leaders introduce change in ways that help their followers feel safe and offer hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Communicate change thoughtfully

Before communicating any material change, think about how it will impact our followers. We should thoughtfully craft our message and develop a story with a narrative that people can relate to using shared experiences and values understood by our followers. It must make sense to them.

Do it openly

After the message is ready to be communicated, leaders invite people into a safe environment.   We lay out the change in full view of all the people that chose to come followed by an opportunity to ask questions. We explain how the change impacts them and the organization and what the future will look like afterwards so they can begin to find their place in it.

Extend an invitation

The best leaders don’t stop with announcing a change. Instead we ask people to follow us. We must continually earn followership. We must remember that our people were committed to what we were doing, therefore it is equally important to our success that they buy-in to what we will do. The leaders we want to follow extend an invitation that offers us a choice to reaffirm our commitment to the cause and embrace the change