Creating Visible Leadership to Make Business Change Successful
Change is a constant in the world of business, and when faced with business change, leaders can respond in one of the following three ways:
Do nothing and just hope it all works out.
Manage it with a project plan from a cubicle or corner office.
Lead the change with words and actions that support the future state.
Successfully led changes, with visible leadership, result in shorter project timelines, widespread ownership of the change, and an organization ready to take on future challenges.
What is visible leadership? Visible leadership includes three key components: setting a vision, actively discussing the change, and knowing the impact.
Setting a clear vision for leadership
The first job for a leader who wants to visibly and proactively drive change is to create a crystal clear vision of what the future will look like for the employees and then communicate it with passion. Leaders do this by walking employees through the status quo or “the current way things are done around here” to the desired state of where the organization wants to be once the change happens. Change leaders build a powerful case for the change, then work relentlessly to generate understanding and consensus.
Actively discussing the business change
Change leaders don’t just wave a magic wand and then hide out until the change is done. Visible leadership means the change leaders are out there talking about the change, adjusting their own behaviors to align with the change strategy, and actively addressing concerns voiced by employees.
Knowing the impact of change in a business
During change, visible leadership focuses on helping to identify negative reactions and barriers and knocking them down one by one. Common barriers to change may come from fear — fear of losing control, losing status, diminished compensation, loss of job security, or being asked to take on a bigger workload. Visible leaders help to align agendas and balance interests to reduce concerns and conflicts.