In recent years, we have seen that traditional approaches to leadership have become ineffective. Change leadership is a new approach that empowers leaders with highly transferable and future-ready skills. Combined with other emerging trends such as continuous improvement, customer-centred design, digitalisation, and the lean management style, change leadership can help leaders create an ideal environment for their businesses and teams to innovate and grow.
Gartner reports that 42 per cent of CEOs at companies who have digital transformations underway expect to undergo deep culture change by 2020. Additionally, 46 per cent of CIOs report that culture change is the biggest barrier to realising success. Combined with a median success rate for cultural change of only 19% that poses a huge risk for businesses without solid change leadership capabilities.
Stepping into the role of a change leader can be extremely challenging but the advantages of change leadership will outweigh any difficulties. Let’s take a look at what these advantages are and how you can make full use of them.
#1 You can make a significant impact on the mental health of your workforce
If people aren't happy and healthy, how can they work to their best potential?
Well-being is no longer an individual matter but an organisational one. Over 42% of employees around the world experienced a decline in mental health since the pandemic began. The global average of employees suffering from work-related stress has nearly doubled in the past decade (reaching 6.3%). Investing in well-being is crucial for your solid business outcomes.
It’s no longer news that uncertainty increases work-related stress. By improving your people's emotional intelligence and leadership skills, you reduce stress during change. Improved empathy and listening skills contribute positively to the health of your organisational culture.
#2 You can track change better and turn data into insights
Your organisation’s future largely depends on its leader's ability to turn data into insights and the right decisions. Change-agile leaders use their network to harvest data and feedback, track progress in behavioural change and test decisions.
Instead of relying on external consultants that love reporting their success stories, you will be able to track more meaningful data and progress. You can integrate the data with your internal BI and access unfiltered, direct feedback from your people. Furthermore, building a change-agile organisation enables you to track the long-term impacts way past the date when the project team rolls off.
Using a combination of 360-degree feedback tools, learning, coaching and co-planning workshops, our unique leadership training program equips you to make your organisation successful.
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#3 You can build a history of change successes
Change Leadership is the #1 contributor to change success. So what is it that makes such a big difference?
An effective leader embraces incremental Change as Business As Usual. She fosters enthusiasm for the journey ahead, listens intently to those she leads, and understands the motivations and concerns of those she governs. She has learned tools and established habits that help her guide and inspire others through transformations whilst acknowledging the challenges that come with change.
When everyone from the CEO to your frontline leader applies their Change Leadership skills consistently you will soon build a history of change success stories that paves the road for future innovations.
#4 Change readiness becomes part of your DNA
Remember the feeling when something new throws you off your game? Now imagine that you could feel fully prepared or ready for whatever the world throws at you.
Having highly transferable, evidence-based and practical Change Leadership skills and tools at the ready does exactly that. It makes you flexible, change-ready and agile, not just for one project but for changes of any size.
In our unique development program built with the latest research and insights, you will develop holistic leadership skills, innovative thinking, a collaborative mindset, and an agile approach to change.
#5 DIY is cheaper
External Change Management consultants can cost you $1100 to even $3700 per day and often can make up $100,000-$135,000 of your annual project budget per head. Some might argue that the 'cost' of hiring an external change consultant is not in the initial out-of-pocket expense, but rather the frustration and time it takes to resolve issues occurring once you have lost the external expertise.
We believe that upskilling your people to lead change is more cost-effective in the long run. Shared Change Leadership is also less disruptive than assigning an in-house Change Manager to wear the hat of change. Picture Change Leadership training as an investment into your people and organisation rather than a cost. Did you know that our Change Leadership training has an estimated ROI of 5.7?
In Conclusion: Change Leadership Is A Must Have Mindset
All organisations that have faced disruption in the past decade agree that the speed and magnitude of changes in today's business environment require companies to transform their ways of operating – or ultimately, perish.
Having a change leadership mindset is critical. It turns fear into optimism and empowers you to take action instead of holding back stunned or complaining.
Change Leaders know that they role-model the change. They actively and visibly take small steps towards the future goal. These small steps are sometimes called pilots or MVPs (Minimal Viable Products) or sometimes leap of faith. Independent of what you call these steps, they are the key for people to experience what the future could be like.
Our EXCELerate Change Leadership Program is ideal for leaders who want to learn how to inspire and lead change in their organisation. Delivered by a team of experienced change management practitioners, the program will facilitate professional development in key change leadership competencies. We combine innovative and interactive training with expert coaching.
This article is inspired by our monthly newsletter: The 6 Cents of Change. If you want to subscribe to the newsletter or are interested to find out more, visit our website or follow us on LinkedIn or YouTube.
We invite you to contact us at Approach Services on +61 86 10 20 343 for an obligation-free discovery session.
Eva is one of the masterminds behind Approach Services' blog and The 6 Cents of Change. She is an innovator, trainer and change manager. Her work has been published in Schmalenbach Journal of Business Research. In her spare time, she enjoys camping with her two little boys and permaculture gardening.
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