To be more successful, change cannot always be led from the top of an organisation. To respond to change quickly and effectively the way organisations change itself needs to change.
I recently spoke at a conference on Growth through Transformation, where I contested that both transformation and evolution were necessary for growth.
Transformation – usually top down, organisation-wide change, often in response to an actual or anticipated crisis – is the way that organisations have traditionally changed. And ‘change management’ practice has developed to support it, as have the ideas that people hate change and will always resist it.
Throughout my career I’ve been involved in leading change. I now support companies to make some of the most difficult changes to the way they work, to change the way they change.
I work with business leaders that want to engage their followers with their organisation’s purpose and make change a constant, to maximise agility and efficiency, and speed up the organisation’s response to threats and opportunities. They want to lead organisations that will evolve.
To achieve that, they first have to transform the way they work. Traditional models of running organisations, with their powerful hierarchies and lack of empowerment do not evolve, but lurch from one change initiative to another, creating fear and resistance. Unsurprisingly many of those change initiatives fail to achieve their aims.
Organisations that are able to respond naturally to stimuli have teams where power is dispersed, where everyone takes a role in the change and where people can test and learn new ideas.
That’s why, through Shift, I work with whole teams to support their confidence and capability to contribution fully to the organisation’s aim.