This is the fourth piece in a five part series on helping people lead change. Each of these sections will be incorporated into a resource, along with visual tools, that can be used to help leaders see how change can be effected within their business, system, or network.
Developing a structure to support your work is necessary to effect change.
How will your organization be structured to support the change?
Once you have a vision and a sense of the path to get there, what's next? Ask yourself if you have everything you need to take that first step. Many initiatives fail from the start because they aren't ready to take on a new project. People may not be aware of what they need to do to help, support, or provide you with assistance along the way.
Clear communication to your organization about what you are doing, where you are going, and how you are going to get there is required in order for a change effort to succeed for the long term. If your new project is crossing multiple departments or functions with your organization, then it needs to be made clear to them how they will support you. More importantly, they need to see how their actions are contributing this effort.
What specific methods will be used to help your business change?
How change is created depends on the problem at hand and where you want to go. A defined process that can be easily communicated to others is a good place to start. The establishment of a feedback loop is critical so that you can gather real-time information about the progress of your work. It also enables you to adjust your methods and process while you are moving, and actively test new ideas that may improve your work. Effective follow through on any feedback that you receive will strengthen your efforts.
Are any tools required to assist?
How your message is conveyed to others is critical. Will you hold regular meetings and conference calls to keep members of your team on the same page and to monitor progress? Digital tools can help people collaborate and improve the dissemination of information as it comes in from the front lines or other parts of your organization.
Tools can help a leader extend their reach and maximize their influence over a system. How you choose to use them depends on what you are trying to accomplish. Minimizing your dependence on them is necessary to maintain your flexibility in thought and process during your change effort. Don't let the tools you are using drive your work.