Change management is a competitive advantage for today’s leaders
Leadership is not how you manage, but, rather, how you interact with others.
A business leader in the height of the 1920s recognized the value of strong relationships between management and employees – at the height of human-powered assembly lines.
Sam Lewisohn held many roles in public and private organizations, including lawyer, executive and the first president of the American Management Association.
In 1926, Lewisohn wrote in his first major book, The New Leadership in Industry, about the potential for “new leadership” in America’s booming workplaces:
“Executives have treated the question of human organization as a minor matter, not as a major problem. They have too often failed to realize that their responsibilities as assemblers and organizers of man-power are just as great as those in mechanical and financial matters.”
Lewisohn’s writing comes from a period when industrial productivity soared, and the American workforce experienced a rise in real wages. Efficiency was the goal. Many workers were in roles requiring little skill, where they completed repetitive tasks that contributed to swifter production.
The secret to leadership, wrote Lewisohn, was treating workers as people and not tools in production.
For modern leaders, this is still the secret to leadership – consider the needs of your employees and align their needs with your goals. Change management is the strategic approach to create this alignment, whether for projects or organizational goals.
Change management is a discipline that modern leaders can leverage as a competitive advantage. When change is necessary and constant, change leaders realize that the impact of change on their people is a major problem. But it’s a problem that they have the confidence and tools to transform into opportunities.
Strong leaders know the needs of their people
In the 1920s, the efficiency of workers on an assembly line was directly tied to the productivity of a factory. A common management style followed paternal patterns, so Lewisohn’s ideas were noteworthy for recognizing the value of being attentive to human relations.
While there are limits to what employers can pay in wages, wrote Lewisohn, “the only limits with respect to personnel and other problems of management are his intelligence, ability and good-will.”
Knowing the needs of their people is an opportunity for leaders – especially for efficiency-focused managers in the Roaring ’20s.
As much as management styles have evolved in the past century (not to mention organizations themselves), this advantage remains the same for today’s leaders.
Needs of today’s employees
The pace and style of modern business are – not surprisingly – a different world compared to the 1920s. Organizations have opportunities to take advantage of individual strengths and competencies, but the pace of business is swift for everyone.
Consider these characteristics that are common in modern organizations:
- They routinely address problems with short-term fixes to the symptoms rather than focusing on the cause of the issues.
- They constantly adopt new technology.
- They have teams that are siloed, distinct or fragmented.
- They have access to an enormous amount of research and opinions.
- They lack alignment on goals and desired state.
- They are constantly responding to the need to change.
And the needs of your people are impacted by:
- Problems that are not being addressed at the root cause.
- Constant changes in technology.
- A lack of effective interaction with relevant teams.
- An overwhelming amount of unfiltered information.
- No clear goals or purpose.
- An organization that is always undergoing changes.
Strong leaders understand the needs of their people, even when those needs are erratic. The steps to identify the needs of your employees are the result of change management.
Change itself is a need
The path to growth and success is through change. From routinely adopting new technology to responding to evolving pressures, organizations are faced with the need to change. Organizations need to change in order to be competitive and sustainable.
Every leader benefits from understanding and applying change management tools to their projects, teams and organizations. Leaders of change actively achieve expectations by being leaders of their people.
They don’t avoid or delegate change; effective leaders nurture change.
Many leaders are unable to navigate change
Employee satisfaction surveys show that most leaders are not adept at managing change. Even worse, their leadership styles inhibit people and organizations from taking the necessary steps to achieve a change.
Here are the trends of leadership that we observe and the gaps that are typically present:
- Employees expect leaders to make decisions, execute the decisions and hold others accountable to achieve the goals. But leaders often lack the discipline, decision-making habits and expertise to meet their employees’ expectations.
- Employees prefer face-to-face interactions. But leaders delegate those conversations thus avoiding the personal touch.
- Employees want leaders to lead. But leaders often delegate leadership and rather fill the support role.
Recognizing these common gaps is the first step to aligning your leadership behaviors with the needs of your people. Managed Change™ provides training and tools to become a leader who is far more than a support to your people. You can become a leader who achieves goals by meeting the needs of your employees.
Establishing change management capability within any organization is complex. Here’s a guide to creating a blueprint for a change capable organization.
Change requires the entire team
Successful change efforts rely on the participation and support of every team member. Most importantly – every leader needs to be involved in order to connect employees with the goals of an organization.
Change management responsibility is regularly delegated to individuals or teams. This segments and isolates change efforts: employee expectations are not aligned with the change efforts and management are not on the same page about strategic goals.
Systemic change requires active leaders that are engaged with the entire change effort.
Strong leaders know the needs of their people and create connections between employees, other leaders and the strategic goals of the organization. Otherwise there are too many gaps and change efforts are more challenging and often less successful.
How to fill the common gaps
The common gaps between leaders and their people can be filled by applying Managed Change™ – LaMarsh Global’s approach to change management that has been used in organizations around the world for 45 years.
Here are the common gaps:
Leaders are expected to make decisions and carry them out
Managed Change™ is the framework to determine your goals and implement a system to achieve them. You can be confident in both your decisions and the process that will carry them out.
With clear goals, your employees will have a defined purpose and will contribute to crossing the finish line.
Employees prefer face-to-face conversations
The process matters to your people. On a basic level, this means following best practices that make your employees feel comfortable and respected. They want to know that their needs are considered.
Employees expect leaders to lead
Be the leader your employees expect. Clear goals and defined responsibilities empower individuals with a purpose. You’re expected to prioritize and align work to the goals of a project or organization and influence your employees to remain focused on the goals.
Managed Change™ works for your organization
We have applied the change management methodology to single-location businesses and global corporations. We have used our experiences with clients to continuously update Managed Change™ to remain relevant.
Managed Change™ does not need to be adapted to work in your organization. It is scalable and widely applicable, and the open architecture immediately integrates with your project management framework. We work with our clients to understand what you already have in place that works for you and fill gaps that exist with our methodology and toolset.
Managed Change™ works for you
With Managed Change, you are the change leader. Managed Change™ packages the methodology and tools so you can begin applying change management to your projects right away – we want you to be a confident and effective leader.
If you’re experienced with change management or just learning the fundamentals, our training, coaching and certification will meet you at your level of knowledge and experience.
Training or consulting – choose one or both
Managed Change™ has been created so you can apply the methodology to the projects or changes you are currently facing. Our training and consulting options can match your time commitment and schedule, so you can select the best option that takes you to the next level of your career.
Managed Change™ wasn’t meant to remain in the classroom. Our training creates change leaders who are confident and able to immediately bring change management to their organizations.
Download our info sheet on the Managed Change Academy for an overview of our upcoming workshops.