Change is a real challenge for leaders. At the same time most leaders understand that changing, improving and adapting are vital within the organisation to be successful long term.
While there are a whole host of things that contribute to delivering sustainable change successfully, there are 3 that I believe are crucial to any attempts to making change.
Factor 1: Beliefs
I’m sure we all instantly recognise that well used phrase, whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are probably right.
It’s very simple and straightforward but possibly a lot more important than you might actually think.
If your beliefs are that something can’t be done, is too difficult or won’t work in your context you are closing yourself off to potential opportunities.
If on the other hand your belief is that progress is possible, that it might be tough but that some forward progress is possible, your attitude is very different.
With a more positive attitude, you are more likely to take a decision, take action and get either or both results and feedback.
Factor 2: Behaviours
It’s funny that when you read about successes you have this picture that there was some magic wand that was waved by a super leader that transformed things. Of course we all know that what we read is just the tip of the iceberg.
The behaviours you adopt are important.
It takes courage to face up to the fact that things are not going as well you would like. It’s not always easy to
open the conversation that you know no one wants to have.
It requires a different focus. Staying in maintenance mode might seem appealing but it’s not going to move you forward.
It will require collaboration and team work. No one individual has all the answers.
It will require a shift away from personal agendas to doing what is in the best interests of the organisations and those that it serves.
Factor 3: Actions
Discussion, debate, looking at options, sharing ideas and involving are all important.
On the other hand nothing happens until action is taken.
Whenever you take an action you get a result. Sometimes it will be what you hoped for. Sometimes it will be different to what you expected. You might even fail completely.
Either way you will have some feedback and learning which will allow you to make adjustments and move forward.
In truth sustainable change is generally delivered over an extended period of time. On the other hand without the right beliefs, behaviours and actions, you are unlikely to make much if any progress.
Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements works with NHS organisations in the areas of change, improvement and leadership. He invites you to sign up for his free change e-course here.