Six Critical Leadership Tips for Effective Organizational Transformation
In a world where every business and organization is in a permanent state of change, one has to determine the driving factors and/or ingredients needed to drive the business. Today the business world is obsessed with leadership. Many people argue about how to develop it, how to change the concept of their business leadership. It is a well-known fact that all our lives depend on leadership, whether it is for the well-being of our organizations or individual and family fortunes.
During my time as the secretary of the Student Forum on Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (SFEITI), I was faced with this leadership. I had to work my fingers off to ensure the organisation stood the test of time. I can confidently affirm here that getting students and young individuals participate in any initiative like this is a herculean task. It requires great leadership mixed with perseverance and determination. The good news is we were able to make it happen.
According to John Kotter, author of ‘Leading Change’, “Managers promote stability, leaders press for change and only organizations that embrace both sides, can survive turbulent times”. Continuing, he said; “Leaders involve others and seek to enhance self-esteem”. Here are John Kotter’s leadership tips for effective organizational transformation:
Establish a sense of urgency
A key to the successful leadership of change is the need to create a sense of real urgency – “If you don’t start with a sense of urgency, the change programme will eventually collapse. Without motivation, people won’t help and the effort goes nowhere…Leaders underestimate how hard it can be to drive people out of their comfort zones”.
For a successful change in any organization, leaders need to facilitate open discussion on tough or difficult issues with their team members to foster good relationship and effective team work.
Create a vision
Successful transformation rests on a picture of the future that is relatively easy to communicate and appeals to customers, clients, and employees. Vision helps clarify the direction in which an organization needs to move. It promotes motivation and acts as a compass bearing in difficult times.
Communicate the vision
Leaders must be seen ‘walking the talk’ if people are going to perceive the vision as being important. Deeds along with words are powerful communicators of any new changes. Change efforts fail unless people understand, appreciate, commit, and try to put that vision into action.
Form a powerful guiding coalition
Developing a ground swell of support is critical for success. Change often starts with just one or two people and should grow continually to include more team members. When the spirit and contribution of team members are encouraged in any organization, such organization experience effective success.
Plan for and create short-term wins
Real change often takes time and therefore, there’s a threat of setbacks and loss of momentum. Kotter points out that: “When it becomes clear to people that major change will take a long time, urgency levels can drop. This needs to be avoided! Commitments to produce short-term wins helps keep the urgency level up and force detailed analytical thinking that can clarify the organizations visions”.
Consolidate improvements and keep the momentum for change moving
Effective leaders use the benefits of success as the motivation to drive more change into the organization. They never declare victory too soon. They seek to go on and identify more ways effective transformation could happen through that victory.