I’ve noticed a shift in attitude from my clients. They see and acknowledge the pressures their leaders face outside of the corporate world and how those pressures impact business strategy and goals. People are under a tremendous amount of stress in and out of the office. We can no longer ask our leaders to attend meetings and retreats, ignore the outside world, and concentrate on business without considering the extraordinary disturbances in their personal lives.
While individuals face this stress, organizations are challenged with transformational change – a time for organizations to excel and meet the world where it is. Transformational change is not about creating growth for the organization’s sake; it’s about stepping up in a leadership component. It is not incremental change where you adjust prices or tweak processes; we’re talking about change that transforms how your organization delivers value. Fundamental transformation touches all aspects of the business, even if you are not aware it’s happening.
I’ve identified three factors to successfully leading transformational change in a tumultuous world. The first, distributing leadership, means pushing leadership opportunities out to the periphery so that anyone, anywhere, who can take the lead, will take the lead. Distributing leadership is vital because a small group can’t understand all the nuances and consequences of making transformational change real.
Distributing leadership requires you to educate people on what authentic leadership means to your organization. It means giving people tools for leadership and taking accountability to ensure they know how to lead at their best.
The second factor to successfully leading transformational change is radical transparency, not just having knowledge available when needed but making it as easy as possible to obtain. Transparency has not been part of most cultures; usually, various walls or insulators make gaining information more difficult the closer you get to the core team. Now that knowledge and information change in real-time, it has become essential to improve accessibility.
Lastly, transformational change requires empowerment – removing obstacles so that people can contribute effectively in all parts of the system. Empowerment is not just about telling people, “Hey, you can do more than you could before;” it’s about making sure the messages are delivered and reinforced on multiple channels. Empowerment creates a new level of autonomy for capable leaders, allowing them to take action and get results effectively.
Transformational change requires that you bring together all the stakeholders to engineer a solution that will increase your organization’s performance in today’s challenging and complex world. Once convened, those stakeholders must employ distributed leadership, radical transparency, and empowerment to successfully tackle transformational change in our incredibly disruptive world.