ELECTRI International Executive Director Joey Shorter, Ph.D., presented this session during the recent National Training Institute at the University of Michigan. The concept is based on John Kotter’s work, “Our Iceberg Is Melting”.
Change is inevitable but transformation is a choice.
We need to dedicate more of our energy to action. Unless we create a sense of urgency, nothing will really happen. We need an atmosphere in which we help others to see the need for change and then show them why they should want to act immediately.
No One Can Go It Alone.
Transformation needs a guiding team. Noted coach, Phil Jackson, describes it this way: The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.
The group spearheading the transformation for your organization must be powerful. Enlist team members who show leadership skills, credibility, communications skills, authority, and analytical skills. Perhaps top of the list is that each of them possesses a sense of urgency.
So, now what do we do?
If you can’t explain your change vision, don’t expect others to get on board. Be prepared to speak clearly about how the future will differ from the past. Present a solid case for why making changes will help make this future their (and your) reality. You will need a detailed and credible path to achieve your change goals.
Move from Description to Delivery.
To make a transformation actually happen, people have to understand the change and buy into it. Your communication with them is the secret sauce to getting them to accept your vision and strategy. Don’t focus on the nay-sayers. Focus on enlisting more and more people at every level, not just the C-suite, who want to work with you to get to the goal.
Delegating Means Letting Go.
Be prepared to empower others to act. This includes removing barriers such as “we’ve never done it that way”. Explain in detail where you want and need their help. Those who “get it” and want to help make your vision a reality can do it with you and make true innovation happen – for all to see and experience.
Like Waiting for Your Birthday
People want to see results. Now. Celebrating even a small success in your plan can show your workforce that today is better than yesterday and tomorrow will be even better that today. Give your team a first progress goal to accomplish in a relatively short period of time. A “win” will help change skeptics into believers.
Make It Happen.
You and your team may experience some setbacks, but don’t let up. Press harder and faster after the first successes. Be relentless with initiating change after change until your transformation vision is a reality.
To move forward, you may need to change gears. Do you have some meetings or programs you no longer need? Should you cancel them so your team doesn’t exhaust itself or “burn-out” ?
Remember: Good things come to those who wait. Great things come to those who get up and make it happen.
Make It Stick.
You may see or need a culture shift in your organization once the changes are strong enough to stick. To be true to your vision, you will have to confirm – out loud and often — that you really do intend to hold onto the new ways of conducting business. From the top down, you and your key executives must show your workforce that you are always willing to adapt to a faster changing world.
Finally, make sure your planning group members are rewarded. They are the people who really made the transofrmation happen. They are your best ambassadors of sticking to the changes and moving forward with even more creativity and effectiveness.