Change is an inescapable reality. Perhaps there’s no other entity that can genuinely attest to this than a business. Sometimes, change comes from within, in one’s attempt to improve. At other times, it’s external, in the form of new market preferences, competitor landscape, or government regulations.
Today, the change is wrapped in a crisis. The pandemic compelled businesses to embrace digital transformation. From team meetings to client communications — down to the delivery of goods and services — everything’s been swept up into the virtual world.
Change comes with challenges, too. When you consider the complexities of going solely virtual — at least for the time being — it can be pretty overwhelming, especially when you’ve been doing things the traditional way for the longest time; yet this is exactly the reason why leadership styles have to evolve, to respond to situations at hand.
More than anything, your organization needs adept leadership. Leaders need to be adept in guiding teams masterfully and reaching goals successfully, even as great uncertainty looms.
In this endeavor, keep in mind C-H-A-N-G-E. Be an expert in adapting to and thriving in change by embracing the following characteristics:
This element is most critical in seasons of change in the workplace, especially in the context of digital transformation. Without a shift in ways of thinking, communicating, and behaving, it will be difficult to own the new normal you’re introducing. A huge part of strategic leadership is changing the culture.
It’s worth noting, however, that just because you adopted technology in your operations doesn’t mean you have shifted into a new culture. The digital culture is not just about adopting the latest software, but it’s also about embracing the principles behind the technology: transparency, collaboration, and risk-taking, among others.
Below are a few important management and leadership tips for adopting the digital culture across your organization:
Define the issue. Answer these questions when communicating to employees: Why is there a need for change? Why should the current system be replaced? This, of course, will be obvious. Reiterating to employees would help them process the fact there’s indeed a need for transition. Describe the norms of change. How do you make change real and seen? Some examples are orientation to new technologies, weekly collaboration meetings, and rotation of facilitation duties during brainstorming sessions. Deliver reinforcement. How do you make sure that the new culture will stick? Some examples are performance evaluations and the default use of virtual platforms across operations. 2. Humble
In fragile transitions amid a crisis, it becomes all the more important to realize that you don’t have the answers and the solutions to everything. You may be the one leading the change, but you don’t have the monopoly of knowledge. Take on a democratic form of managerial leadership style: be open to learning, confront assumptions, and abandon strategies that aren’t working.
In other words, practice humility. Promote feedback mechanisms regarding your digital transformation efforts through:
One-on-one meetings with employees. Provide a safe space where they can air out their concerns. What makes a good leader in great movements of change is their ability to open difficult conversations. Surveys. Choose among online platforms, whichever is most convenient for you and the team. For better results, keep the surveys anonymous. Informal team events. Have team membersContinue reading