Implementing organizational changes and developing leaders to sustain them

Taugher Change Catalyst Consulting

“Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.”

John Lennon

What Kind of Change Leader Are You?

People cope with change differently, and organization leaders are no exception. Experience tells us nearly all executives understand the importance of change, but react differently to actually managing it. Below are four profiles of different leaders, and how each one reacts to change:

  1. Leader 'A' works diligently to stay ahead of changes, and looks for ways to manage their organizational environment effectively. They understand that change is ‘part of the business,’ and deploy strategies and initiatives that effectively manage it. Leader ‘A’ lives and breathes change, and embraces the leadership role in a change process.
  2. Leader ‘B’ is just as diligent about staying ahead of changes, but may not be as aggressive addressing change as Leader ‘A’. They identify and embrace impending change, intent on being nimble and responsive. Leader ‘B’ is willing to adapt, but may not know what to do, or how to manage their organization through a change process. The big question for Leader ‘B’ is not whether to embrace change, but how best to manage it.
  3. Leader ‘C’ intellectually understands that change is inevitable (it happens all the time), but tends to resist change anyway, even when they realize their organization must adapt. Supporting the status quo is easier and less stressful than to embrace a change that necessitates leaving a ‘comfort zone.’ Leader ‘C’ uses a ‘wait and see’ approach to managing organizational change. They are not ready to act or lead a change process. Leader ‘C’ soon finds he or she is behind the change curve, and either works hard to catch up, or becomes consumed by the changes.
  4. Leader ‘D’ intellectually understands that change is inevitable much as how Leader ‘C’ views change. The difference in Leader ‘D’, however, is they actively resist change by denying it even exists, or by extolling that it’s somebody else’s responsibility. They deflect its importance and relevance. Soon they find themselves reacting to change, unable to catch up.

It is natural for people, including executives, to resist change, even when it is a necessary and appropriate. We factor this understanding into change interventions, and work closely with those affected by the proposed change. We help clients convert resistance into commitment, and facilitate business transformation. We take time to understand and balance individual sense of loss and need for control with the organizational need to make a successful transformation.

Executives move from playing ‘catch up’ to ‘pro-active,’ and drive the change process rather than remain behind it. With priorities and goals and explicit deliverables defined, we delineate timelines with benchmarks to monitor progress and insure goal achievement. We also calculate bottom line project impact and the dollar value.