Change is required for the growth of a business. Knowing how to approach and manage it is critical. Here are nine strategies to champion change well.
Okay, okay, settle down. Take a deep breath. After my last blog post all about change, I got some feedback. Oh boy, did you folks have some thoughts on the matter. Most of them went along these lines:
I know I should get with the program and generate and champion change. You helped me figure that out very clearly. But you didn’t give me the ways to do it. I WANT TACTICS. I WANT STEPS.
If you’ve been following my writing here or elsewhere, you should know by now that I’m not ever going to leave you hanging. I wanted to give everyone time to think about change and their role with making it happen, but I didn’t think you’d jump in with both feet. I’m really, really glad you did and are eager to use change to truly grow your business.
So without further delay, here are nine specific Tactics you can use to champion change in any group, in your business, in your home, or just about anywhere.
- “Sell” individuals. You might be championing a change impacting hundreds of people; even so, champion that change one on one. Find ways to create small group conversations. Speak individually with as many people as possible.
- Help people take ownership. Step one is something most people can’t get through: being willing to share ownership with them. Then build that ownership with small changes, gaining their assistance in planning next steps. Once they feel empowered, you can help by removing obstacles in their path.
- Let people see your progress. Leaders often don’t want to communicate about a change until they know everything. You will seldom know all of the details, and while you are waiting the organization is wondering what is going on. While that’s happening, they are hypothesizing the worst-case scenario. Let people know where you are as early as possible. And, do it earlier than you instincts might suggest.
- Call the change a journey (because it is!) People will more easily accept things this way, and this positive view makes it easier for people to join in.
- Ask questions. If you want to create a dialogue and real engagement, talk less and ask questions more. And then, listen!
- Start small, and build a new status quo. Perhaps your vision is a huge difference from where things are today. The best way to get there is in small pieces. Get people to see the value in tiny changes, and get them there steadily. Once they have successfully navigated a small change, you will have helped them build their willingness and confidence for the next step.
- Use words. Help people describe the change. Having common language across the group makes it easier for people to support and create the change.
- Ask questions. This tactic is here twice on purpose. Remember to ask questions to create a useful change dialogue. If you’re telling and not asking, people are unlikely to embrace the change.
- Take responsibility. You are the leader and the champion. While you are trying to do everything you can to get the group involved and committed to the change, take the responsibility to do everything you can to make it happen.
This list of tactics comes from Remarkable Leadership by Kevin Eikenberry. You will find that it is sometimes better and easier to share the brilliance of others and give credit when due than it is to recreate something that is so similar it’s silly.
Now that you know, put it work. Make change happen!