As a change leader, you are needed in order to propel businesses and organizations through difficult times of transition. We all understand that change is inevitable. It can only be delayed but never avoided. The inability of businesses and organization to surge forward is a clear indication that the world lack visionary leaders in the organizations and the businesses as well.
There is lack of creativity and rarely are new products introduced into the markets. Whenever anything comes out, either it’s a rehash of already an existing product or probably it’s just the same item with a different packaging. One major cause of such a pathetic situation is the inability of businesses to correctly read the market and understand the customer sentiments so as to come up with great products that will satisfy the needs of their customers.
The current business landscape requires change leaders who will be able to take their organization from one level to the other. There is so much duplication of processes and recycling of old ideas such that the businesses and organizations are literally stale in their ideas and there is need for some freshness to be injected into them so that they can move ahead. People also need to change their perception about leadership. Both the employer and the employee need to know that they can be leaders in their own unique ways.
What matters is not the title you hold but your ability to steer growth in whatever you do. It’s you actions and you decisions that will bring about change and not the title that hold in the organization. If anything, the lowest in the organization are the best placed to bring change in the because they are the ones who are in constant contact with the clients or the customers. The top management relies on their comments to make decision that will be crucial in moving the organization forward. Therefore, change leaders can come from any ranks of the organization.
What Makes a Change Leader?
However, what does it take to become one of the few change leaders that are currently leading their organizations to great heights? One thing that is worth noting is that the world appreciates uniqueness and as such, change leaders must have the ability to offer something completely different from what is being offered by the rest.
They must show that they are visionary and that they have what it takes to stick to what they believe will work for the best of the company even if they are the only people who think that way. This is what separates the copy cats from the real leaders. They are able to stay long enough even if things move from bad to worse because they understand that it is their responsibility to make the changes they want to see. The provide solutions and not excuses.
For anyone aspiring to be a change leader, there are three fundamental questions that you need to ask yourself. These will not only help you evaluate your candidature for being a change leader, but based on how you analyze them, you will be able to understand what it really takes to be a leader during present times when businesses are witnessing turbulence that have never been seen before.
Below is a brief discussion of the three fundamental questions.
1. What is the source of motivation for your organization?
Before you can effectively lead change in your organization, you need to understand what keeps your organization moving forward. These normally come in how the organization responds to different situations. Out of the situations, decisions are made that keeps the company moving. There are only two known ways by which a business responds to situations. The business will respond either to a threat or to an opportunity. You therefore need to understand what kind of response your organization normally has.
For instance, if your respond to threats, then you will be keen on matter relating to customer experience because if your customers are not satisfied, they will seek solace in your competitors. You can also find ways of coming up with new products or services that will give you a competitive advantage over your competitors. However, if your company responds to opportunities, then you will try and find out the untapped markets, or diversifying in different ways in order to take advantage of the new opportunities.
2. How valid is your information?
Real change will only come about if you have the right information. Without the correct data, you will be getting into a journey, which you know nothing about, and you will be like someone doing guess work. The disadvantage of this is that you will waste valuable company time and resources only to end up not seeing the change that you had hoped for. Change leaders will take their time and collect not only adequate data but they will also query the validity of such data so that they have the right information that they will use to make sound and appropriate decisions.
The necessary data needed by change leaders can be obtained from a number of sources. These places include records of customer feedback, the company’s financial trends, evaluating the competitors’ strategy etc. However, before such data can be used, it is imperative that the change leaders analyze them and be certain that they are indeed correct and original data.
3. How is the uniqueness of your perception?
Different people will have different ways of seeing and interpreting various situations. Change leaders must also have the ability to see things differently but not out of context. It is doing things the same way while expecting different results that is hurting many businesses today. Therefore, change leaders must be in a position to come up with different methods of getting the work done. However, there is no guarantee that the methods will be accepted but again as leaders, you should not be afraid to take the risk of trying out your ideas. Cowards will sit back and be afraid of taking actions but leaders will see an opportunity to make a difference.
These present harsh economic conditions have provided an opportunity for real leaders to come out and show leadership. This is the period that will give rise to change leaders who will not be afraid to take risks and make decisions that will move their businesses and organization to new levels of greatness.
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Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.