The role of a leader is to drive change—to create movement within the organization. Aside from having leadership skills, it might be a good idea to ask organizationally what is necessary to make change stick.
Now anyone can walk into a room and declare: “Our company will be the best.” But we all know that it takes more than pronouncement to make things happen. And change is necessary in today’s world.
Here are three questions you need to ask to make change stick developed by Peter de Jager in his 2004 book, Managing Change.
Why are we here? As a leader, you need to ask this question from an organizational standpoint as well as why anyone on your team should care. Go beyond the Mission Statement on the wall in the conference room.
What needs to change in order to protect where your organization or company is at present? This is probably what prompted the meeting in the first place. Losing market share or sales down? How do you maintain what you have while addressing the challenge?
Finally, and this is critical: How will you integrate the change you propose throughout the current organizational culture? Frankly, many organizations fail at this juncture because they simply believe if the leadership team says “make it so,” it will happen. This isn’t Star Trek, and you are not Captain Picard. Real change is painful, and people will want an explanation for why it is necessary—give it to them in an honest and forthright manner. And get as many people involved in the decision-making process as possible.
Remember: change is going to come regardless (think Swiss watchmaking companies prior to the Japanese watch takeover of their market). No one can completely avoid this, yet change is often necessary and can contribute to growth both professionally and organizationally.
~ Darrell L. Browning