Hot performance tip: Leading change

by 07 Nov 2011

Change is one of the few constants in our lives and is essential for people who desire sustainable success. Leading change is hard. Particularly due to the emotional resistance people experience during change. There are five critical elements that need to be addressed if any change effort is going to be successful.

Tip 1 - Discomfort

Change needs discomfort. People who are no longer happy with the current reality, status quo or existing results being achieved. Without a degree of dissatisfaction people will continue to do what is comfortable. A new reality or unearthing new possibilities need to be established for change to have any chance of success.

Tip 2 - Vision

Change needs a vision. The presence of a clear 'end game' that people hold a commitment to achieving. The vision is the guiding beacon that assists people stay the course when fear, doubt or reservations need to be overcome. Aligning people to a shared vision enables their collective capability to be harnessed to ensure the vision is achieved.

Tip 3 - Knowledge steps

Change requires people who know what to do. The small as well as significant steps required to achieve the vision. Without a clear plan of action people will do what they think is required rather than the agreed actions to create change. A collective effort has more probability of success than individuals pursuing change through isolated ideas or actions.

Tip 4 - Resistance

Content Change always has a hard part and this hard part presents as resistance. The multitude of people and problems that need to be overcome to successfully achieve change. Quite simply, if resistance proves greater than any of the other previous tips change will fail. Alternatively, if the previous tips are engaged during the resistance, it will be overcome and change will result.

Tip 5 - Change

Well done you did it! The reality however, and something that makes change hard, is you have to be prepared to start all over again. Change is constant. So the next change, when it presents, requires the same level of commitment and effort. The people and teams that continually adapt and change are the ones who will find success more easily and more regularly.

About the author
Andrew Horsfield is the director of Thrive Group and one of Australia's new thought leaders. He is passionate about bridging the gap between people development and business performance, For further Hot Tips on performance, visit the Thrive Group website