Today’s guest post is by Selena Rezvani, author of “The Next Generation of Women Leaders: What You Need to Lead but Won’t Learn in Business School.”
If there’s an issue, cause, or initiative that you want to rally for at work, consider a “change management” strategy as you implement improvement. Create a coalition of like-minded people — being transparent about your motivations — and you will be able to accomplish more than you think. Using your influence to harness positive change is one of the best things you can do to leave a positive legacy at your company and be seen as a leader.
Interestingly, change on a small scale follows a similar process as change on a grand scale. Use the steps below to guide your next initiative:
- Define the baseline. Demonstrate how the current state of the situation you want to change is affecting the company, the staff, the customers or any other stakeholders.
- Solicit Input. Begin to stimulate people’s thinking by involving them in round-table discussions, townhall-style meetings, or even focus groups. Involving others in coming up with solutions to problems will help foster their buy-in.
- Generate excitement. Build momentum and enthusiasm toward change by communicating progress with people and reinvolving them when needed. You can do this through fun events or light-hearted contests, for example. You may also want to plan for some “quick wins” that will build momentum early on.
- Make the change “stick.” Find ways to keep your initiative thriving and close to your most important stakeholders. Even if your change is implemented, be sure to reward behavior that aligns with the change through public praise or other forms of recognition. Make the initiative real to people by sharing stories of how the change has helped the company or benefited people.
- Operationalize the change. Once the change has been institutionalized, find ways to hold people accountable to the change. Accountability may mean reeducating people or ensuring that recognition is given for reinforcement. As you continually solicit feedback on the change, be sure that you are showing people how change has been accomplished through quantifiable methods.
Don’t be afraid to take a risk and lead a charge. The best change is one in which you have maximized a group’s strengths to move the organization ahead, using your own abilities and those around you to create better outcomes. Make continuous improvement a way of life at your organization.
Image credit, topshotUK, via iStock