We had many great observations from our in-depth discussions with many leading business professionals around the globe. But, out of their perspectives on leading change in times of disruption, a really interesting theme emerged organically to me, focused on the people side of change.
Humans. They are fascinating creatures.
And humans in teams and organizations? Even more fascinating.
Humans in teams during disruption and change? Now we have some complexity, tension and possible volatility.
Recently my co-host Rozzyn Boy, our producer Gareth Hosking and I sat down to discuss observations from our first two seasons of our Change Cultivators podcast. (Listen to our discussion here)
Leading both individuals and integrated work teams through change – part of what we call being a Change Cultivator – is now a required leadership skill. Or perhaps – as our guest Alan Hosking, a leading expert in the Future of Work puts it – it is more than a simple skill, but rather a more pervasive quality of a leader, which focuses on deepening the quality of relationships in order to better influence and guide teams during times of change. (Listen to Alan’s full discussion with us here)
With business environments becoming increasingly more volatile – and projected to stay that way over the coming decades – overtly and strategically building the ability to bring work teams through change is now key to leadership success. In fact, failing to dedicate time to the human side of transformation can lead to resistance from people, frustration and an overall loss of time in driving needed change, all of which lead to failure.
There were three specific nuggets from our first two seasons (related to tackling the human dynamics of change) which stood out most to me:
FOCUS ON CHANGE ADVERSE PEOPLE FIRST
Carol Kruse, Board Member of Valvoline and a transformational Chief Marketing Officer at several companies shared her tip of focusing on the people least likely to embrace change first. (Listen here)
She mentioned that many times these ‘change adverse humans’ work in key functions or departments like finance or accounting or purchasing – jobs often centered on standard processes and structures – which are critical to change during certain transformations. By focusing leadership efforts there first, these critical professionals can rapidly become part of the ‘change coalition’ early.
Carol also mentioned that leaders who are comfortable with change (like her!) need to realize that individuals process change and change-related communications in different ways. Leaders are often best served by consciously ‘style flexing’ during change, being very choiceful about adapting communication styles tailored to specific ways in which team members process messages.
DON’T IGNORE EMOTIONS
Worldwide leader in Change EnthusiasmTM Cassandra Worthy, also addressed the topic of human behaviors related to organizational change.
Cassandra has developed an approach and framework that helps leaders focus on processes and harness the emotional aspects of humans during transformation. She talks about the Change Curve and the three steps in being a Change Enthusiast: look for and process specific Signals, frame up Opportunities and be conscious about Choices.
This framework – especially the Signal Workshops that she conducts – helps leaders develop more emotional self-awareness as they lead through change.
And what are the 5 emotions that need to be diagnosed and addressed during change according to Cassandra? They are fear, anxiety, frustration, anger, and grief. (Listen to full discussion with Cassandra here)
SEASON 3 NOW LIVE!
We have just launched Season 3 at Change Cultivators, in which we will dig deeper into the human dynamic of change – exploring how great leaders get their thinking structured to be great change leaders.
Leading teams and organizations in these disruptive times is not easy. Getting yourself & your team’s thinking right, with a purposeful mindset toward change, is critical.
And that is why we continue to build the Change Cultivators community, all with ONE PROMISE in mind, “To make you a better leader and activator of change in times of disruption”.
Please join and share the link to our growing Change Cultivators community on Linkedin – where we post additional helpful content and encourage input and engagement across the community.
WHAT YOU CAN LOOK FORWARD TO IN SEASON 3
We have a really meaningful schedule of valuable and proven insight and experience lined up for Season 3.
Our first guest lined up for the season is Vinod Kumar, CEO of Vadafone – the world’s largest IoT connectivity provider, operating across almost 60 countries. Our discussion with Vinod will go live on 02nd of March – don’t miss this one!
Other guests in our lineup include a Wall Street Journal & USA Today bestselling author, a virtual tech startup CEO, a Chief Development and Marketing Officer of an Olympic sporting organization, a C-Level Exec Coach, Author and Speaker, and numerous other leaders of change from around the globe.
Together with our guests, we will focus Season 3 on “Designing your Thinking for Change as a Leader” – a very necessary and apt theme for the upcoming months.
LATEST FREE RESOURCES
If you haven’t already done so, please take the opportunity now to download our most recent valuable FREE resources – 7 LEADERSHIP LESSONS FOR EMBRACING DISRUPTION and 7 LEADERSHIP LESSONS FOR OWNING CHANGE – with proven insights and experience from change leaders in diverse industries across the globe – perfect for leaders and teams to tap into.
JOIN OUR COMMUNITY
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