As a leader, you know you need to implement change quickly. The faster you can introduce the changes and start working in new ways, the sooner you can create more value for your customers and your organization.
You also know you can’t do it alone. You need to collaborate and get help from trusted change advisors and players—especially since you and your organization may be involved in multiple change initiatives simultaneously. You’ve got to keep everything related to the change initiatives on track while also fulfilling all of your other responsibilities.
So where do you find the indispensable, go-to people who can support you in leading change—if you aren’t lucky enough to already have them on staff?
Specifically, where are the skilled, experienced and trusted individuals? Individuals who can help you address these three change challenges:
- Lack of clarity. All too often no one can clearly identify or define what the change initiative is, how it fits into the big picture of what the organization stands for and where it’s going, and what the change means. You feel like you’re living the fable of the blind men and the elephant. Every person you talk with has a different perspective and perception of what change you’re driving.
- Blurry call to action. There’s no clear call to action. You know the change initiative is critical to the future of the business. But it seems abstract rather than concrete to those you’re trying to enroll in the change. So no one is sure what they need to start doing differently. Nor do they know what the timing is. It’s unclear what the action steps and milestones are.
- Poor alignment. The leaders say one thing about change, but the actions of the organization tell another. For example, you want the organization to enter a new era of collaboration, innovation and creativity. Yet, everyone continues to see the “same old, same old” silos of individual contributors toiling on their own. With such a mismatch, the path to change seems circular, rather than pointed on a clear path toward an end goal.
You could get outsiders to come in and help you. However, this experience could become your money pit. And it’s not just the drain on your financial resources. It’s the waste of your time and other resources. Outsiders don’t know your culture. Their learning curve cuts into time that you could be spending on more valuable work. Their change models and processes work for them in the short-term, but not necessarily for you and your team in the long term. You’ve got to sustain this change over time and then integrate it into the next round of changes you’ll need to make.
There’s got to be a better way. And there is.
The solution is to build change capacity and capability in your organization. This way you can have indispensable, go-to change champs by your side now and in the future. These change champs, who learn on the job with expert guidance and support, can help implement the change, make sure the change sticks and then be ready to support you for your next change initiative.
For example, these change champs whom you develop with outside expertise can help you, other leaders and the organization:
- Gain clarity around the change. Employees need to understand what the change is, why they should care and what they need to do. By providing this focus and giving them a clear call to action, you will help people get and stay on the same path. They can then keep their eye on the prize—that is, the shared change goals.
- Create a sense of urgency and get people to act now. You’ve got to do more than cut through the clutter to get employees’ attention and help them understand why it’s imperative to act today, rather than get around to it tomorrow. You’ve got to provide a trigger event that shakes employees out of any complacency, provide a clear call to action and help them take steps. The stakes are high and the organization can’t afford people to get caught up in an analysis/paralysis mode, freezing in their tracks.
- Achieve the change goals without the drama, delays, and distress so often associated with change. By approaching change in a conscientious, comprehensive and disciplined manner, you’ll get more done on time and on budget. Plus by working smarter not harder, you’ll be better equipped to role model the change you’re driving for, which will make the implementation go smoother.
- Build your credibility as a capable change leader who listens, involves and supports the change team, influences and mobilizes people to take action, and always does the right things well. Change champs build stronger relationships, which will help with the change initiative as well as your other work.
- Develop a mindset that gives them and you the confidence, courage and capacity to stop feeling overwhelmed by change. You want to feel like you’re in charge, even though you know many aspects are actually outside of your control and always will be. However, you’re clear that you can deal with problems, surprises and other obstacles that come your way. You’re resilient.
So how do change champs get created?
Connect’s Change Collaboration Program makes it simple for individuals to learn and master change skills on-the-job. We take staff people, including HR, communication, and other functional team members who want to expand their skill set and experience and become indispensable, go-to change leaders. Through this change immersion program, we provide them the personalized support, a life jacket and other tested devices to keep them afloat now and in the future so they can successfully lead change.
The keys to the Change Collaboration Program for the change champs are:
- Real world on the job experience. You can meet—and master— the demands of your special change project while you work. Instead of being dropped into the deep end of change, we give you the skills, tools and support you need to become a capable, credible and confident change leader in your organization.
- Expert support that gives you additional horsepower to get more done. Besides providing additional resources and a safety net, your expert change coach will provide you with proven techniques and a practical foundation to prepare you to deal with the change challenges you face.
- Personalized attention so you can develop the skills that are most meaningful, useful and joyful to you. You’re able to get immediate feedback on your actions, which help you build your skills so you can become one of your organization’s go-to people for change initiatives.
Connect’s change coach will guide you through every step along the way as you work on and implement an actual change initiative for your organization. You’re building skills in real time on a real live initiative that will benefit your organization immediately.
As a result, by participating in this program, you’re learning by doing and immediately realizing benefits for yourself. You’ll be able to help accelerate change in your organization while achieving high-impact results. And you’ll develop the skills and know-how to repeat the process anytime you want.
What’s special and different about Connect’s Change Collaboration Program?
For leaders, you’re getting two benefits at once:
- You get immediate expert help in implementing your change initiative.
- At the same time, you get at least one or may be more staff people trained and developed to help you lead change.
As a result, you’ll become more self-sufficient around core change issues, such as dealing with constant change. You’ll have change capability and muscle in your organization that fits your organization’s culture and dynamics, helps you change faster and helps you achieve results more quickly.
For change champs:
- It’s just-in-time, on-the-job real world training. The classroom is the work world. Up and coming change champs will work on one of your organization’s change initiatives under the supervision and tutelage of a change expert, who’s sharing up-to-date research on behavioral science and neuroscience. This means you’ll have the tools, support and safety net you need to implement a real change initiative that leads to positive results for your organization. You’ll enjoy the satisfaction of making an immediate contribution.
- It’s personalized to your situation, individual, team and organization, which helps you apply your learnings and accelerates your change. The experience is adapted to fit your situation, your needs and the environment in which you work. As a result, you’re getting targeted training so you can get up to speed faster and build the skills and confidence that you need. You avoid the fluff, filler and flourishes associated with generic training.
- It empowers you to become an authentic change leader, a real change champ. You’ll learn how to lead and manage change with gusto, not with fear. You’ll also increase your appetite for change. And while you may not become a change junkie, you’ll see how change is healthy for organizations and you’ll start to embrace change and become more resilient.
Other benefits change champs get from Connect’s Change Collaboration Program include:
- You increase your self-awareness. The awareness you gain will help you support your organization and its leaders. You will be more conscious about how you present yourself, how you regulate your behavior and how you serve others. This awareness helps you define your own leadership style, which helps makes you more trustworthy and in turn increases your credibility.
- You gain courage. You start to recognize that maintaining the status quo is the same as falling behind the competition. You’re willing to speak up, ask tough questions and start to take more calculated risks. You’re confident that you can influence and mobilize others. You can be clear with ambiguity.
- You learn valuable skills that you can apply to other aspects of your professional role as well as your personal life. Your on-the-job experiences combined with the classroom learning and coaching will give you skills that you can use in all aspects of your life. You’ll feel more comfortable about taking the initiative, rather than waiting to take orders. You’ll be able to accelerate your learning curve, create order out of chaos and effectively influence others. You’ll also be able to create habits and other changes that stick.
About Connect’s Change Collaboration Program
Connect’s Change Collaboration Program is a comprehensive, customized change immersion program for 1 to 10 individuals from the same organization.
Here’s what up and coming change leaders will experience:
Before starting, you’ll take two online assessments: “Leading Change at Every Level” and “What’s My Communication Style?” Both assessments are tested tools from HRDQ that help you measure and improve important skills needed for effective change leadership.
- The change leadership assessment helps you understand change behaviors so you can quickly develop strong change leadership skills and improve your ability to lead change.
- The communication assessment identifies your preferred style to communicate with others and helps you gain mastery of your own behavior and how to interpret the communication behavior of others.
After taking the assessments and getting the results, you’ll participate in a briefing session about the results so you can immediately start applying the insights.
You’ll then participate in the two parts of Connect’s Change Collaboration Program that run simultaneously.
- Part 1 is the work on the change initiative that we (you and your Connect change expert) are responsible for implementing. What we’ll do depends on the business objectives and goals your leaders have identified. Using Connect’s Change Collaboration Program playbook, we’ll develop a change plan to prepare, launch and sustain the change and then start to implement it.
- Part 2 is the classroom instruction and coaching that supplements your on-the-job training. The structure of this will depend on the number of individuals participating in the program. At a minimum, this part will include: one hour a week of lessons, one hour of coaching and homework. (The homework will combine reading related to the change work you’re doing and an assignment directly related and supportive of your change initiative. By applying what you’re learning, you’ll absorb the information faster and better. Plus you’ll use your time more effectively and efficiently.)
Several weeks after the vast majority of the change initiative is implemented, we’ll start Part 3, the post-implementation training and coaching. For Part 3, we will conduct a debrief with the change team, including analyzing lessons learned on the individual, team and organizational levels.
We’ll also plan how to sustain the change as well continue to measure the progress. We also can set up a buddy support system to help you stay committed to following the Connect Change Collaboration Program playbook.
In addition, we will poll people outside the change team to gather their assessment of the change process. Based on the input, we will adapt your change processes and update your personal change collaboration playbook based on The Connect Change Collaboration Playbook. That way, your personal playbook becomes a living document that you can use effectively and efficiently for your next change initiative.
In addition to these three parts, you can take advantage of these bonus features of the program:
- Personal one-on-one coaching via email to help you address any questions that you have or help you deal with any obstacles that you may encounter. (You also have the ability to arrange for in-person or telephone sessions too for yourself and your buddies.)
- Continuing access to online resources of tips, tools, techniques, and articles that can help you maintain and advance your skills.
- Network of other change leaders at other organizations that you can tap into for ideas and support.
Is Connect’s Change Collaboration Program a good fit for you?
This program is not for everyone or every organization.
Leaders must be interested in developing staff and building internal capability rather than buying everything on the outside.
Up-and-coming change champs have got to be willing to devote time, energy and brain power to learning new skills, including the research behind successful change initiatives and behavior change. Plus, you’ve got to show the discipline to follow the research rather than your gut to become a competent, credible change leader.
Plus, leaders and up-and-coming change champs need to be willing to collaborate with an experienced change consultant. We’ll be working side-by-side with you, providing you with a safety net as we build your skills, experiences and confidence.
Also be aware that Connect’s Change Collaboration Program is tailored to the needs of each individual and his/her organization. For example, the program’s content varies depending on the type of change situation the organization is facing, the individual’s prior exposure to change initiatives, and the individual’s professional development goals. Follow-up coaching sessions will take place via conference call or in person, depending on the individual’s preference.
If you are ready to learn more or even ready to take the next step, contact us for a complimentary Change Collaboration Program strategy session.
During this session, we will explore your current situation, challenges and opportunities. You’ll learn some tips, tools and techniques you can apply immediately. We also will determine if Connect’s Change Collaboration Program is a right fit for you and your organization. After the conversation, you’ll have a clearer picture of what you need to do to become a capable, credible and confident change leader in your organization.
The conversation will take approximately one hour and can be done by phone.
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