Change Leaders are the people who steer the change experience. They may or may not be formally recognized by the organizational hierarchy. They use the project plan as a roadmap, doing whatever it takes to achieve the best possible outcome.
In complex organizations there is always a core group of change leaders. To accelerate positive impact and results, the members of this group must share a robust understanding of what the change is about, what needs to be done, and how they work together to make it happen.
Change doesn’t happen on the merit of an idea. Nor does it occur by distributing documents (xls, doc,ppt). It comes about through conversation and action. People talk together candidly surfacing core issues, questioning and refining their understanding. The result is a shared mind-set. The more dynamic the environment, the more often the need to check back in with each other, compare notes, and regroup.
The primary tools of change leaders are their minds, guts, and behavior. Secondary, back-up tools are arguments (the case for action) and documents (artifacts that anchor understanding).
Effective change leadership teams work across boundaries to influence staff, break down silos, and meet stakeholders. The key to ensuring success, is the building of a shared view among the change leaders. This has to be done face-to-face. It’s only by sharing the room, facing tough issues eye-to-eye, that people achieve the intensity necessary to see complex change through.
Bringing your change leaders together to talk in an atmosphere of shared responsibility where they can have frank discussions is one of the highest leverage activities in a successful change initiative.