Ask Harold transcript and talking points

On this episode, we talk about one person’s challenge to lead a major change program at work.

Hello and welcome to Ask Harold.

This is a show all about you. On each episode, I’ll answer one question from you on any topic related to leadership, business, or performance. All to help you be more successful at work.

Who am I? I’m a leadership and business coach, and I work with many chief executives and their senior leadership teams. I believe that knowing how to lead teams and companies through major change is the most important skill required in business today. I’m also the author of two books on authentic leadership: The Impostor Syndrome, and Fitting In Standing Out.

Today we have a great question for our second ‘Ask Harold’ episode. This question is from Cynthia, and it’s a pretty common challenge for many of you who get asked to lead a major change program at work.

Cynthia writes:

We are starting a major change initiative at work. We have 400 employees, and this particular change initiative will affect each person. I’m part of the team that will lead the change. I’ve led big change programs before, but some have not made it across the finish line. For each of the past initiatives, we did due diligence, informed key stakeholders, and made a good case for why these changes were needed. However, we still ended up short on reaching some important goals.
Harold, what are some key things I should take into consideration to make this upcoming change initiative a success?

Kind Regards, Cynthia

Cynthia – your question is a very important one – given that the cycles of change in business have shortened significantly over the past decade – knowing how to lead your team – or the company – through a major change program is critical.

Here are 6 key points I want you to think about:

1. What’s your starting point?
• What’s the energy – and the mental frame – that you want to put around the reason for the change?
2. Make sure there is creative tension
• Enough dissatisfaction with the current reality
• A compelling vision that gives people a picture of how much better work will be by going down this path
3. Formulate with a few, then build your coalition
• Get your ideas down; formulate with those that can help you with the parameters
• Then bring on the guiding coalition
4. Take on board the best suggestions
• Noodle over some of your dilemmas with them.
• Genuinely listen to their suggestions and thank them for helping you think.
• When people help you think, and your thinking reflects some of their ideas, they are far more likely to be in your corner.
5. Execute – quickly, decisively, and with integrity.
6. Make the changes real
• In the language, embedded in how you hire and promote people
• Give the change a chance to take root by wiring it into the way people work

Thank you Cynthia for your question, and thanks to you all for listening to Ask Harold. On the next episode, I will be answering a question from a viewer who wants to shake things up a bit, without alienating himself from the team. This is a pretty common dilemma if you’ve ever tried to shake things up. Tune in next time to hear more.

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If you have a question of your own, or want to see my other videos and articles, go to my blog drharoldhillman.com.

Take good care, and see you all soon!