In last week’s blog, I talked about the importance of planning, and how the primary issue with implementation of plans relates to accountability. We closed with the concept of locus of control and how that impacts accountability in an organization.
There is another accountability/implementation issue I’d like to touch on – and that issue is you, the leader.
I would suggest that the traditional approach to addressing or implementing change is no longer effective or appropriate. The traditional approach has been more or less as follows:
1. Identify the problem;
2. Engage an expert who seemed to understand the problem best, read a book with the solution, or apply new technology
3. Tell everyone how to do their jobs differently and better than the way they have been doing them;
4. Spend tremendous amounts of time, energy and money trying to overcome the resistance caused by Step 3 and eventually make someone else’s solution work for us
It’s not surprising that by using such an approach it takes most companies years to implement change (if ever). Most of their time is spent on Step 4 – convincing resistant employees to try something new and making sure they actually follow through on adopting someone else’s solution.
There are many examples in the corporate environment where the traditional approach is being applied. Senior management comes up with great new ideas, trying to mimic results achieved somewhere else, and then imposes the objectives on staff and ultimately customers. Under this model it seems that both the employees and the customers lose value while the company achieves short-term financial gain (if they’re lucky) but potential long-term instability (almost certainly).
What is needed is what Dr. Daryl Cross would call “Enlightened Leaders” – leaders who have the ability to get the members of the organization to accept ownership for the vision and business plan, and in the process developing the commitment to carry it through to completion.
Enlightened Leaders tend to possess the following characteristics:
They possess the willingness and ability to draw the vision and plan from their people;
They inspire and empower their people to do what it takes to bring the plan and vision into reality;
They provide guidance to implement the plans, rather than step in and take over and eventually revert back to the traditional method;
They nurture and encourage their people to be open, creative and innovative
They recognize and reward success
They provide regular feedback
In a nut shell, Enlightened Leaders implement plans to address change by bringing out the best in people and removing the barriers to change. Employees’ inputs are valued and adopted. Employees provide the business with the power, the resources and energy necessary to reach these new goals.
Are you an Enlightened Leader? Do you want to be? What do you think about your role as a leader when it comes to implementation & accountability? Are you a positive influence, or a negative one?
That concludes our series regarding change. Hopefully you found something that was helpful. What do you think? What’s missing? What are your experiences with change? What’s worked? What hasn’t?