It’s a game-changing question. And traditional top-down leadership is no longer the answer.
It certainly seems that “change is the new black”, and certainly the new normal. The companies that will not only survive but thrive during this new era are those that can shift their thinking.
If you want to successfully adjust to this ‘new normal’, it’s time to switch your mindset from “change management” to“changing the way we manage”.
Four crucial tips for making the shift
1. Build trust now
Without foundational behaviour of a cohesive team, none of the rest is even truly possible. As Patrick Lencione insists, “Trust can only happen when team members are willing to be completely vulnerable with one another.
There is confidence among team members that their peers’ intentions are good and that there is no reason to be protective or careful around each other.
2. Create team agreements
Then stick to them. Team agreements go beyond fluffy value words framed on the walls of the office. They pinpoint specific ways team members agree to behave, and what the team agrees to do when any one of the members falls short in upholding the agreements.
This drives accountability away from “top-down” management and towards peer-to-peer responsibility. If there are one or two bad seeds who consistently hold the rest of the team back, having a peer or two call them out and possibly stop inviting them into various projects is likely to be a very powerful management tool.
3. Insist on and reward collaboration
No one person is as smart as the collective whole, and, after all, you hired smart people to get great work done. Get them together, give some direction, and get out of their way to get great work accomplished.
Rod Collins, author of Wiki Management: A Revolutionary New Model for a Rapidly Changing and Collaborative World, describes it in this way: “Top-down hierarchies are designed on the premise that an organization’s intelligence resides in a select number of star performers who leverage their expertise through the power to direct and control the work of others.
Self-organized peer-to-peer networks, on the other hand, are built upon the principle that an organization’s intelligence resides in the diversity of its members who leverage their collective knowledge through the power to connect and collaborate with each other.” In short, think network and lattice organization charts versus the linear top-down models of the past
4. Sharpen the organization’s focus on the customer
Supply-chain-driven organizations focus on producing 5 million widgets a day and shipping them around the globe within 24 hours. But if the widgets aren’t the right colour or don’t fit with customers’ existing widgets, who cares how many and how fast?
In our culture of “change is the new normal,” the customer’s power of choice is king (or queen) and ultimately supersedes the organization’s power to produce. The nimble organizations are those that build their people operations and systems to respond to and even stay ahead of fickle customer wants.
Change your approach, change your results
“If traditional managers want their organizations to have the capacity to change as fast as the world around them, they will need to embrace the new reality that managing great change is only possible if they change how they manage.”–Rod Collins.
It’s rather ironic that through all the change they instigate, the management team (and their approaches) can be the hardest to change.
If your organisation is looking for a way to keep up with the pace of change through changing the way you manage, engaging with a professional can go a long way to getting you on the right track.
Choice Career Services specialises in innovative change management. We help businesses deal with many different types of organizational change through avenues that are successful and sustainable.
What is your organization doing to change the way it manages versus continuing to implement “change management” initiatives?
For further advice on making the change, click here to contact Choice Career Services.