Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
- Barak Obama
The growth and development of a business can be seen as continuous organizational change – seeking out improvement and evolution of practices by questioning existing norms and expectations. While the overall direction of a business may be determined by a CEO or other formal leader, it needs to be translated into actionable items and tasks by his employees. Leadership, then, becomes the place of the practitioner – the man closest to the action and the man whose actions are the change.
But this requires an organizational paradigm that does not reward complacency – which many do. If the organization’s – or even its teams’ – leaders do not foster a supportive learning environment in which dissatisfaction is seen as the first step toward improvement, it will not reap the benefits of its employees’ true abilities, but only glean the mediocrity produced by their obedience.
In order for positive changes to stick, and have to have team support behind them, certain skills need to be developed in individuals – everyone involved needs to find the purpose of the change and communicate the vision of the desired future.
Leading Change at Every Level, a self-assessment and training program developed by HRDQ, identifies five soft skills instrumental to successful organizational change, and how employees at all levels can put them into practice. By taking stock of behaviors exhibited during times of change, employees will see that interpersonal skills are invaluable to effective transitions.
Make sure your team knows that they all can and should be leaders throughout their careers: