The Art of Leading Change

Leading Change

Hindu scriptures talk about three basic components that all matter is made up of:

  • Sattva – A bias towards Knowledge
  • Rajas – A bias towards action
  • Tamas – A bias towards inertia

These are the same components that are required in leading change initiatives.

Knowledge:

It is critical that the leaders of the change initiative know the reasons for the change that they want to bring in. They should have answers to questions like

  • Why is the change necessary? Why now?
  • What will successful transition look like
  • What is in it for everyone who is involved?
  • What needs to change (culture, processes, products, etc)
  • What needs to remain
  • Break down the transitions into clearly explainable steps or behaviors that need to be changed and what do the new behaviors look like.

Action:

It is equally critical that the leaders do not just stop at the intellectual level and knowing what needs to happen. They need to make this happen. In order for that they need to:

  • Show a bias for action
  • Communicate their knowledge and reasons for driving the change. Do it continuously. 
  • Explain the actions that they want to see clearly, so that people understand exactly what is expected out of them. 
  • Keep the change simple. Trying too many things at the same time doesnt work.
  • Provide continuous feedback on how people are doing. Publicly. Praise when they exhibit the right behavior and reprimand when they don’t.

Inertia:

If the knowledge and action parts are done well, you would have built some momentum in the change effort.

  • It is critical that you allow for the momentum to take effect and drive the change initiative.
  • Do not start another change initiative until the purpose has been solved.
  • Use organizational inertia to your advantage rather than fight against it.

This concept is not only applicable for leading organizational change but also for individual change. You can apply the same steps to reduce weight, write a book or follow your dream.

 

 

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