There are wild variances in how much involvement organisations are brave enough to offer their people in change. From those organisations where they just 'tell' (sometimes by text message even!), to the most enlightened extreme, where they enable wholesale contribution to the change process.
Such organisations actually create the time and space to involve as many people as possible, in the issues surrounding the need for change.
This organism of change, where the organisation fully respects (an important word in this context), the ability of individuals to contribute, not in a patronising way, but more in a synergistic and fully contributory way, enables two significant and positive steps.
Firstly, involvement in the creation of change solutions, empowers people in what can be a very disempowering situation. They begin to have a role in their own and their organisation's future.
This leads to a second significant point. The ownership of the solution shifts, so that individuals get really bought into the need for change and that they can contribute, sometimes much more than can be expected. Their empowerment values them as never before.
This can, with acute awareness on the part of senior managements, move the organisation from fire-fighting when things go wrong, to an ongoing search for quality, review and questioning of assumptions. This becomes as Ricardo Semler found in his wonderful book, 'Maverick', rewarding holistically, for the organisation, the employees and also the locality as a whole.
A marvellous example of embracing change, freeing a business owner and exemplar leader, and his team to realise their true potential.
An exercise to consider...Think about changes where you have been involved.How were the changes launched to you?What were your feelings at the time?What are your feelings now, in retrospect?What might have made the experience better, in light of the information above?How might you have 'done it differently'?In your own organisations, what opportunities do you have for involving your people in change?How could you explore this further?What could you do in the next month?What will you do?
Change is an opportunity which can grab you any way you choose - or you can take the lead and choose your own path...
Copyright 2005 Martin Haworth is a Business and Management Coach. He works worldwide, mainly by phone, with small business owners, executives and corporate leaders. He has hundreds of hints, tips and ideas at his website, http://www.coaching-businesses-to-success.com.
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