Turmoil creates a cry for change, always with a sense of urgency. Get sales up fast. Change how we process orders. Fix a problem right now. Unfortunately, it’s easier to call for change than it is to make it happen and/or to lead it.
The best leaders are both patient and urgent when fostering change. Not an easy combination. Systemic change requires patience and a relentless commitment to make it happen. That’s why repetition is built into the EOS® system.
Resistance to change has many sources:
- Biases. We see the world not as it is; we see the world as we are
- Entrenched processes. “This is how we’ve always done it”
- Embedded cultural norms. “This is just the way we are”
To be an effective leader for change:
- Challenge and clarify your own vision and biases on a regular basis: ask questions, demand feedback, ask for insight about your potential blind spots
- Hire, fire, and reward people on their values as well as their capabilities
- Make decisions based on data, not subjective criteria, or worse, politics
- Demonstrate confidence by recognizing issues and resolving the most important ones
- Create a culture of accountability driven by documented processes
- Have the fortitude to set priorities and meet regularly, week in and week out, year after year
And remember, change isn’t always initiated by leaders, but it’s always achieved with leadership.