My team is not catching up with the changes I want to bring about. I introduced a new set of changes after taking over which ideally would have to show results soon. However when I see my team's progress, there is so much resistance that I feel we may not hit the mark. How can I move past the resistance to deliver value?
~ Senior Leader, Financial Services
As a new leader it is often understandable that one likes to bring in change.
The drive to make it happen is also fair.
Along with the above, there is the race against time to get things done that drives frustration in the leader if the team is playing catching up.
In his book, "The first 90 days", Michael D.Watkins talks about waves of change for a leader in transition. Here we can see how the power of time brings about change.
Pic Courtesy, tedvlango.com , Based on "First 90 days", Michael Watkins
As we can see in the above picture,
changes needs to happen in waves and not in a Big Bang.
The intensity also needs to vary according to the tolerance level of stakeholders and the time in the role of the leader.
Most importantly, for the changes implemented there needs to. be a consolidation phase that rounds/packages the changes into one coherent whole.
What are the key learnings for leaders who take up new challenges and are finding their team slower than what they would like to be?
Cherry Pick your changes
If you are a leader in just the transition phase, cherry pick the changes to implement.
The consideration should be
Short Term Vs Long Term Impact
Radical Vs Improvement
Team readiness/ motivation
Learning opportunity Vs Being right
Pick a few changes that you can encourage your team to focus and get results instead of overwhelming them with too many changes.
Once you are done, wait for reasonable time (based on context) for it to bear fruit.
Note that coriander seeds sprout faster than apple seeds.
So somethings take their own time.
2. Involve your team
If you are looking for low hanging fruits (quick wins), involve your team to identify them quickly.
Radical changes may face resistance initially. Give space and time for your team to get used to you and your vision.
Vision and support are not one time affairs.
They need to be repeated to sync in.
Listen to your team and address their concerns. Have the courage to endure.
3. Form focus groups for rigour
If you still find the momentum lacking, form focus groups and follow up with rigour.
Ask for volunteers in your team to own a focus group so that they have skin in the game.
Put all your energy in getting one focus group off the ground.
The rest will follow.
What helps you get change off the ground?