Maritza Boucher

Involved Leaders: A Key to Successful Change Management

Change Management is one of the success factors for any change being implemented in an organisation. But what are the success factors for Change Management? How can Change Management and Leadership structures support each other to be more effective?

In an article written by Alison Doyle and published by thebalancecareers.com on May 05, 2019, the top 5 Essential Leadership Skills were defined as:

  1. Communication
  2. Motivation
  3. Positivity
  4. Creativity
  5. Feedback

Forbes highlighted these and more in their 16 Essential Leadership Skills for the Workplace of Tomorrow.

  1. Fearless agility
  2. Earning respect
  3. Empathy
  4. Selflessness
  5. Flexibility
  6. Committing to a clear vision
  7. Listening
  8. Humility
  9. Communication and ‘Soft Skills’
  10. Understanding the individual
  11. Steadiness while remaining adaptable
  12. Learning quickly
  13. Cultural intelligence
  14. Authenticity
  15. Leading through change
  16. Versatility

Versatility focusing on the value and importance of what leadership motivation could mean, not only for change management, but the value it will have for the organisation should be paramount. Motivation could steer an organisation towards a healthy culture and increase productivity, that in time will lead to the organisation being more profitable.

Motivation can be defined as:

1.  a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way.

"escape can be a strong motivation for travel"

synonyms:

motive - motivating force - incentive - stimulus - stimulation - inspiration

• desire or willingness to do something; enthusiasm.

"keep staff up to date and maintain interest and motivation"

synonyms:

enthusiasm - drive - ambition - initiative - determination

2.  SOUTH AFRICAN

a set of facts and arguments used in support of a proposal.

"the following proposal and motivation is submitted for consideration"

How can a leader motivate?

Inc.com discuss 14 Highly Effective Ways to Motivate Employees, written by Ilya Pozin, founder, Pluto TV. He highlights the following;

  • Let them know you trust them
  • Give your employees purpose
  • Radiate positivity
  • Be transparent
  • Motivate individuals rather than the team
  • Learn what makes employees tick
  • Have an open-door policy
  • Show them the bigger picture

Involved Leaders: A Key to Successful Change Management Informatics

This leads one to think that leadership should be closely involved with their employees to be able to motivate them effectively and successfully.

Stephen Richards Covey (October 24, 1932 — July 16, 2012) was an American educator, author, businessman, and keynote speaker. His most popular book is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Time Magazine named him one of the 25 most influential people in 1996.

Why was he so efficacious and considered as one of the 25 most influential people? It was because of one of his fundamental beliefs in being a leader, involvement. Why did he believe that involvement as a leader will create commitment? If we look back at the fundamental skills that is required from a leader, we will see that leaders need to be able to share their vision, empower people, inspire / motivate people and so lead the change.

That, I believe, is one of the biggest success factors that helps Change Management in being more effective in an organisation. So, let’s look at what leadership involvement can bring to the table from a change management point of view.

A case study on Leadership and Worker Involvement on the Olympic Park demonstrated the positive outcomes of creating an engaging workplace and working culture. In this case study, they proved how important a shared vision was for both the success of the Olympic Games and also for the health and safety of the whole construction programme.

If a leader can share his vision and lead by example, the workforce behind him is more likely to follow.

Why? When leaders lead by example and show their employees that they are part of the change, it makes it easier for employees to identify with the leader and become aware that s/he understands what the impact is to each of them as s/he is also going through the change. The expectations of them, as employees, are realistic and self-tried. This in return will increase the leader’s credibility in what s/he has to say about the change and the leader becomes one of the biggest and most successful influencers in the organisation

An involved leader will also be more informed regarding the challenges that each employee will face and is able to show them how to overcome the fear of change and build on it to improve themselves. A leader’s attitude will be prominent in his / her words and a positive and engaged attitude will influence their employees and assist in the change taking place faster. Involved and willing employees enable the leader to fulfil another critical and fundamental building block of leadership skill: motivating their employees.

With the correct and positive motivation, employees are more susceptible to the change management activities that are being implemented and more responsive to the change. They are more willing to be informed and understand how this will benefit them and the organisation and will increase the teamwork to fulfil the common goal.

Change Management success is very much reliant on the input of users, the project team, teamwork across the organisation and involvement of leadership, to ensure that a change is implemented effectively in the shortest period. So, with more involved leaders that show visible action in realising the common goal, commitment to the change will be prominent and the change within an organisation will be quicker, better managed with less effort, and more cost effective.