Change continues to be a topic that stimulates both interest and discussion among the Management Consultancy community, with many serious thinkers looking at ways to deliver sustainable change. In Change the Way You Change!: 5 Roles of Leaders Who Accelerate Business Performance, Lyman and Daloisio offer some interesting and helpful ideas into how to implement change and accelerate business performance improvement. Although targetted at leaders, I think the book is helpful for anyone that is looking at change initiatives and so can act as a change agent or coach within the organisation.
For me, the book is encapsulated in an early quote from Ricardo Semler
“There is no contest between the Company that buys the grudging compliance of its workforce and the Company that enjoys the enterprising participation of its employees.”
Frequently leaders that are looking for the transactional motivation of grudging compliance rather than inspiring the participation that can drive high levels of performance. This book helps leaders to think differently.
Likely success in change initiative will often feature:
- A clear vision describing how the future will look and feel
- A simple step based plan of how to get there
- Alignment of processes, systems and organisational structure to implement that plan
- Methods in increase collaboration
- Ways to increase engagement and the capability of those in the organisation
- Individual skills development to implement the change
Lyman and Daloisio explore the 5 roles which they consider are common to leaders who accelerate business performance.
In brief, these are leaders are succeeding by:
- Accelerating Focus
- Accelerating Alignment
- Accelerating Engagement
- Accelerating Leadership
- Ensuring Sustainability
With, on average, 95% of employees not fully understanding Company Strategy and 15% of employees not knowing the top 3 company goals, it is easy to see why people are not sure what their effort is focused on delivering and so their effort is suboptimal
To accelerate your employees focus on the future of the Lyman and Daloisio have given a series of models and tools that can help.
The leader must also be able to answer the questions of:
- What is changing and why ?- ‘Why’ is the critical point in this question as it allows the leader to highlight the value of the change and gain emotional engagement of the employee
- What do we need to be aware of?
- What are the implications for the individuals?
- How hard will it be?
- How much time and energy will it take?
I would also look to be able to answer the question:
- What’s the next action?
One of the simple models Lyman and Daloisio offer is the ABC for behaviour change. Behaviour is driven by:
A– Antecedents that setup the action
C– Consequences and outcomes from that behaviour
Leaders then must think of themselves as engineers of human behaviour so that they can implement systems and behaviours that move the team towards the changes required to deliver the new outcome.
To measure the progress towards change Lyman and Daloisio suggest that we:
- Define the Change Focus
- Establish the Measure for the Change
- Get feedback and track progress
- Create individual and team accountability
Lyman and Daloisio advise that one of the most overlooked accelerator of change is a holistic design to that change process.
This is partially due to the discipline and effort it requires to develop a holistic solution and partially because holistic thinking is not an easy skill to develop.
But business leaders need to look to the entirety of their operations and align the systems into as holistic a collection of activities as possible.
This chapter offers some very helpful models to support the development of a holistic solution.A key model is the Organisational Effectiveness Cycle which steps us through the factors that influence the organisation and drive performance. This model is adapted from a Franklyn Covey model and guides the leaders thinking through several stages, considering:
- Stakeholder needs
- The mission and values of the Organisation
- The strategy and vision for the team
- The organisational factors
- The culture driving behaviours
- The results delivered
Reviewing each of these elements and making changes will make tangible and measurable changes in the results being delivered.
The Cultural factors that need to be considered are:
- People in the Organisation
- The decision-making processes
- The Rewards that indicate how people are valued
Considering these factors when building a holistic solution will allow you to design an organisation to give you the outcomes you want.
The bottom line is that Organisations are perfectly designed to get the results they get.
Engagement is an important factor in motivating your people.
And Lyman and Daloisio indicate that to increase engagement we need to:
- Overcome resistance
- Manage the transition
- Enable great engagement
Some activities that can help increase engagement include:
Describing why the change is important
Share the benefit to the individual
Describe how friends and colleagues will benefit
Involve people in the problem-solving process – Involvement generates commitment
Lyman and Daloisio also introduce their change equation
Dissatisfaction x Vision x First Steps > Resistance
…there is the impetus to change.
(It is also a useful formula for helping people to buy from you)
Resistance is also a significant emotional factor and Lyman and Daloisio have included a model that explains the Emotional Cycle of Change. This explores and explains the emotional path that people follow when undertaking the change process.
Remember, engaging people is the most difficult aspect of change but it also creates the most impact for the effort expended, particularly if you are effective.
People are looking for many things from their leaders.
Some of these include:
- A powerful mission
- Demonstrable commitment to that mission
- Great communication with the team members
- Strong trust
- Balanced and considered leadership
- Allocation of clear roles and responsibilities
- Well defined processes for getting things done
- A good mix of players and skill-sets
Lyman and Daloisio present several factors that accelerate leadership but one of the more interesting ones is the Leader’s Shadow.
The Leader’s Shadow is the overall integrity and how they lead change in the areas of:
- What they Say
- How they Act
- What they Measures
- What they prioritise
- How they develop themselves and others
The way the leader demonstrates these factors highlights where their passion lies and what their vision is for the organisation. It also demonstrates the level of commitment to that change.
Critically, a strong leader that accelerate change recognises that how much they focus on developing themselves and others reflects their commitment to the change at hand.
A common failing of change agents and leaders is that they do not manage the rollout of the change process.
Lyman and Daloisio also use this chapter to explore the ways to ensure that change endures and they offer 10 common paths that fail and should be avoided. These are:
- Not having an implementation team
- Not recognising that people need to be lead and have clear roles
- Not involving enough people – involvement creates commitment
- Getting the timing and sequencing incorrect
- Thinking that you can change without sufficient resources applied
- Making people work in Silos – there needs to be a cross-pollination of activities
- Not measuring the progress and output
- Not deviating from a plan when it isn’t working
- Thinking people will just figure it out
With these in mind, we need a process and road map to make change stick. Lyman and Daloisio offer us a model with the 4 disciplines to ensure the long-term sustainability of change:
1. Validate processes to ensure they are ready for deployment
2. Hand of the project to the business to exploit the processes
3. Create a discipline of accountability
4. Establish a learning culture
With some impressive models and case studies, Change the Way You Change!: 5 Roles of Leaders Who Accelerate Business Performance is a comprehensive and detailed presentation of tools that will support any leader of a change project. Covering both the technical and emotional elements of change it is well rounded and is well worth reading if you are looking to lead a change initiative.
Dare to Aspire