Leading IT Transformation – Workshop 7 (Change Leadership)
The Appleton Greene Corporate Training Program (CTP) for Leading IT Transformation is provided by Ms. Drabenstadt MBA BBA Certified Learning Provider (CLP). Program Specifications: Monthly cost USD$2,500.00; Monthly Workshops 6 hours; Monthly Support 4 hours; Program Duration 24 months; Program orders subject to ongoing availability.
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Learning Provider Profile
Ms. Drabenstadt is a Certified Learning Provider (CLP) at Appleton Greene and she has experience in Information Technology, Information Governance, Compliance and Audit. She has achieved an MBA, and BBA. She has industry experience within the following sectors: Technology; Insurance and Financial Services. She has had commercial experience within the following countries: United States of America, Canada, Australia, India, Trinidad, and Jamaica. Her program will initially be available in the following cities: Madison WI; Minneapolis MN; Chicago IL; Atlanta GA and Denver CO. Her personal achievements include: Developed Trusted IT-Business Relationship; Delivered Increased Business Value/Time; Decreased IT Costs; Re-tooled IT Staff; Increased IT Employee Morale. Her service skills incorporate: IT transformation leadership; process improvement; change management; program management and information governance.
Every new initiative requires good leadership. IT transformation is a challenging task and undergoing such a huge change in an organization requires efficient change leadership. Change leadership is a very important factor in deciding how successful and sustainable the transformation will be. Employees are often skeptical about, and even resistant to, change. Good change leadership is able to influence them positively and build enthusiasm. They generally use personal advocacy and a compelling vision to motivate others and build a robust platform for change. Change leaders are the ones who initiate the process. When they see an opportunity for improvement, they make a compelling business case and communicate the same to the employees. Only when employees see a common gain that benefits everyone in the organization will they be more engaged in the process and a good change leader understands this. After this, the change leader builds strategies for change and lays out a clear action plan that is communicated to all levels. Employees understand what they are working towards. The change leader also addresses questions and concerns to ensure that everyone is on the same page and the common goals, as well as success, are defined from the very beginning. Lastly, executing this strategy is the most challenging part for a change leader. Assigning the right people to the right tasks, breaking down big projects into smaller more attainable goals, developing metrics to measure progress and success, but at the same time trusting employees’ capabilities and giving them enough freedom to make decisions within their capacity is what execution requires. A good change leader is able to execute the transformation plan with minimum friction.
01. Sense of Urgency: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
02. Compelling Change Story: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
03. Employee Reaction: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
04. Vision and Values: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
05. Communication is Key: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
06. Training Programs: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
07. Company Culture: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. 1 Month
08. Visualize the Journey: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
09. Measure the Change: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
10. Create Wins: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
11. Align Performance Management: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
12. Lookout for Inconsistencies: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
01. Sense of Urgency: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
02. Compelling Change Story: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
03. Employee Reaction: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
04. Vision and Values: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
05. Communication is Key: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
06. Training Programs: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
07. Company Culture: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
08. Visualize the Journey: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
09. Measure the Change: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
10. Create Wins: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
11. Align Performance Management: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
12. Lookout for Inconsistencies: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
01. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Sense of Urgency.
02. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Compelling Change Story.
03. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Employee Reaction.
04. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Vision and Values.
05. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Communication is Key.
06. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Training Programs.
07. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Company Culture.
08. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Visualize the Journey.
09. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Measure the Change.
10. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Create Wins.
11. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Align Performance Management.
12. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Lookout for Inconsistencies.
The Role of Change Leadership is Changing
Previously, when we heard the term ‘Change Leadership,’ we used to think of it as a skill designated for a select few, such as Top Management or Change Managers. However, in today’s fast-paced and disruptive corporate climate, this is no longer the case.
A lack of change leadership as a competency across the board, from individual contributors to management, has lately been discovered to be one of the main frustrations and obstacles typically faced while adopting new ideas or changes. One component was always most important in every successful or unsuccessful project; it came down to ‘Change Leadership.’
Change is happening at an accelerated rate in today’s disruptive business climate, requiring us to respond faster and better than ever before, especially when it comes to IT transformation. This can only happen if we are empowered and equipped with the change leadership competencies and mentality to navigate change in our spheres of influence nimbly and effectively.
Many contributors fail to take responsibility for their role in successfully leading and driving towards the intended objectives for their jobs, projects, or the company because they assume that the leadership position is strictly reserved only for the ‘leader.’
However that is no longer the case; the capacity to lead and respond to change is now a key competence required of any leader, innovator, manager, project manager, change practitioner, or team member who wishes to make a meaningful difference in their career or business.
What is Change Leadership?
For many years, Higgs and Rowland’s definition of change leadership has been the most popular: “Change leadership is the ability to influence and enthuse others through personal advocacy, vision and drive, and to access resources to build a solid platform for change“.While this is a great definition, in today’s VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) world, where change is fast-paced, constantly disrupted by advancing technology, and a complex socio-economic environment, we need a definition that best describes our new paradigm and the critical role of change leadership that transcends ‘position’ and ‘title.’ This shift in paradigm, as well as the key competencies required of change leaders, are encapsulated in the following definition:
“Change Leadership is the ability to influence and inspire action in others, and respond with vision and agility during periods of growth, disruption or uncertainty to bring about the needed change.”
(Yvonne Ruke Akpoveta)
Change leadership necessitates the ability to be imaginative and forward-thinking, as well as the agility and responsiveness to our ever-changing corporate environment.
As a Change Leader in IT transformation, you’ll need to be able to do things like:
• Influence and lead people, including peers and other leaders.Anticipate and respond to change with agility
• Collaborate with others and communicate effectively
• Demonstrate empathy and build trust with others by putting people first.
• Maintain momentum and remain focused in the face of adversity.
• Keep the team and coworkers engaged and empowered by bringing them together.
• Identify and overcome change hurdles while keeping the overall picture in mind.
• Willingness to take chances and be original, creative, and decisive
• Establish a vision and enlist the help of others.
How to Be a Successful Change Leader
Great Change Leaders Focus on People & Process
One of the most difficult challenges that modern businesses confront is implementing successful change. In our fast-changing environment, the strategic need to change is often clear: our firm will not prosper or last unless we do things differently.
At its most basic level, change leadership entails collaborating to develop a shared understanding of the changes needed to carry out the strategy, as well as the best ways to do them. Despite the resources invested in developing change management systems, however, change management research has repeatedly shown that organizational change initiatives fail more often than they succeed.
We all know that strong leadership is critical to change’s success. However, it’s critical to recognize the distinctions in change leadership between successful and unsuccessful change initiatives. That’s why The CCL (Center for Creative Leadership) recently conducted a survey in which 275 top executives were asked to reflect on successful and unsuccessful change initiatives.
The purpose was to define “change-capable leadership,” identify the core leadership abilities required for change, and get a deeper understanding of leadership behaviors that may contribute to change failures.
The executives polled were all members of The CCL’s Leadership at the Peak program, which is designed for executives with more than 15 years of managing experience, accountability for 500 or more employees, and decision-making authority on top management teams. They were all seasoned leaders.
Nine important leadership characteristics of effective change efforts and change-capable leaders were discovered in the study. The nine change competences are further grouped into three categories: “the 3 C’s of change,” “leading the process,” and “leading the people.”
The 3 C’s of Change Leadership
Three components, according to the researchers, create the crucial link between the process and the people aspects of change. Effective change leadership is defined by these three C’s:
Unsuccessful leaders were more concerned with the “what” of the change. The “what” and the “why” were clearly articulated by successful leaders. Leaders who defined the initiative’s objective and tied it to the company’s values, as well as the benefits, increased buy-in and urgency for the change.
It is vital to bring individuals together to plan and implement change. Successful leaders crossed boundaries, pushed staff to break out of their silos, and refused to allow unhealthy competition to exist. Employees were also involved in decision-making early on, which strengthened their commitment to change. Unsuccessful change leaders failed to include employees in the change process early and often.
Leaders that were successful made sure that their own attitudes and practices supported change as well. Change is challenging, but great leaders were resilient and persistent, as well as willing to venture outside their comfort zones. They also invested more of their personal time in the reform endeavor and concentrated on the larger picture. Unsuccessful leaders were frustrated with a lack of outcomes, failed to adjust to obstacles, and voiced negativity.
How to Be an Effective Change Leader
Leading IT transformation isn’t something that happens by itself. From start to conclusion, effective leaders guide the process. The following are the three essential competencies required to lead the process:
• Initiate. Effective change leaders begin by presenting the case for the change they seek after recognizing the need for it. This can entail assessing the corporate environment, comprehending the change’s purpose, creating a clear vision and intended outcome, and determining a common goal. Unsuccessful leaders claim they didn’t devote enough time to these efforts in order to achieve a shared understanding of the goal. Find out more about the issues that organizations encounter when adopting change.
• Strategize. Priorities, timeframes, tasks, structures, habits, and resources were all part of the strategy and action plan devised by successful leaders. They identified what would change as well as what would remain unchanged. Leaders who didn’t succeed stated they didn’t listen carefully enough to questions and concerns, and they didn’t define success from the start.
• Execute. One of the most essential things a leader can do is translate plan into action. Successful change leaders in our study focused on putting key people in critical roles (or removing them, in some cases). They also broke down large undertakings into minor triumphs to gain early momentum. They also created metrics and monitoring tools to track their success. Unsuccessful change leaders have a tendency to micromanage, become engrossed in implementation minutiae, and lose sight of the big picture.
Remember that when businesses evolve through time, stability and change must coexist – this is a polarity to manage, not a problem to solve. Recognize both poles at the same time to help your company reach its greatest potential.
When change leaders discover the “both/and” sweet spot, they may convey the change effort in a way that others will accept.
Leading People Through Change
While formal change processes may be well known, too many leaders overlook the crucial human element of change. The most successful change leaders spent time involving everyone involved in the change and remembering that people need time to adapt to change, no matter how fast-paced the project was.
They know how to deal with change fatigue and urge people to embrace it. They also have these three key attributes of a leader:
• Support. Leaders who removed barriers to staff success defined successful IT transformation efforts. Personal hurdles, such as shattered egos and a sense of betrayal, as well as professional barriers, such as the time and resources required to implement a change plan, are examples. Employees didn’t have the support they required for the change because leaders of failed change were only focused on results.
• Sway. Influence is about acquiring not just compliance, but also the commitment to change that is required. It’s also about identifying the key change agents and articulating what “buy-in” from each stakeholder means in terms of achieving a successful outcome. Effective change leaders defined and articulated their vision of effective change to important stakeholders, such as board members, C-suite executives, clients, and others. Unsuccessful leaders said they would prefer avoid influencing specific stakeholders than try to persuade them.
• Learn. Finally, effective change leaders never thought they knew everything. They asked a lot of questions and got a lot of input, both formal and informal. They were able to make constant adjustments as a result of the input and feedback. Leaders that failed to make successful changes didn’t ask as many questions or acquire correct data, leaving them without the information they needed to make necessary modifications along the road.
Finally, change leaders must acknowledge that leading people through complex change is tough, and that all changes, including favorable ones, have a cost. Employees, like leaders, can be depleted by change.
As a result, successful change leadership necessitates a high level of resilience. People who are resilient are better able to deal with the stress, uncertainty, and setbacks that come with change. Leaders must develop their own reserves to support their mental and physical health, and they may help others face change in a healthy and sustainable manner by learning and sharing leadership resilience methods.
Change Management vs. Change Leadership – What’s the Difference?
People frequently ask about the distinction between “change management” and “change leadership,” and whether it is merely a semantic distinction. These concepts should not be used interchangeably. The difference between the two is actually fairly substantial. Most people use the word “change management” to refer to a collection of basic tools or structures designed to keep any change endeavor under control. Often, the goal is to keep the distractions and effects of the shift to a minimum. On the other hand, change leadership is concerned with the driving forces, visions, and procedures that drive large-scale transformation.
Between what is currently recognized as “change management” and what we have been calling “change leadership” for some time, there is a basic and significant distinction. The world essentially uses change management, which is a set of processes, tools, and mechanisms designed to ensure that when you try to make some changes, A, they don’t spiral out of control, and B, the number of problems associated with them—you know, rebellion among the ranks, cash bleeding that you can’t afford—doesn’t occur. As a result, it’s a method of bringing about a significant shift while keeping it under control in some ways. Change leadership is more closely associated with giving the entire change process a boost, making it run faster, smarter, and more efficiently. As a result, it’s more connected with large-scale transformations. Smaller adjustments are more commonly linked with change management—at least when it works successfully.
It’s not simply semantics if you look around the world today and talk to people. Because that’s what they do, everyone talks about managing change and change management. When you examine all of the tools, you’ll notice that they’re all attempting to move things along while minimizing disturbances, i.e., keeping things under control. It’s about ensuring that change is done efficiently so that you don’t go over budget—another aspect of control. It’s done with internal change management groups, external consultants who are adept at it, and change management training. It’s done with task forces whose sole purpose is to move this thing forward while keeping it under control. It’s done through various kinds of relationships dubbed “executive sponsors,” in which the executive sponsor keeps an eye on the proceedings to ensure that everything runs well.
Change leadership, on the other hand, is fundamentally different—a it’s vehicle. It’s more about the sense of urgency. It’s more about large groups of people who want to make a difference. It’s all about huge ideas. It’s all about empowering a large number of people. Change leadership has the potential to throw things out of balance. When you have a 1,000 horsepower engine, you don’t have the same level of control over making sure everything goes the way you want it to at the moment you want it to. Of course, you want a highly trained driver and a fantastic vehicle to ensure that your risks are kept to a minimum. It is, nevertheless, fundamentally distinct.
As we all know, the globe currently discusses, considers, and implements change management. As we all know, the world doesn’t do much change leadership because change leadership is associated with bigger leaps, with windows of opportunity that are coming at us faster, staying open for less time, and bigger hazards and bullets coming at us faster, so you really have to make a bigger leap at a faster speed. Change leadership will be a major problem in the future, and the reality that nearly no one is very adept at it is, well, evident.
10 Change Leadership Strategies That Are Backed By Science
Researchers have only lately been able to look at the brain using technology like functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to see what happens when we face a substantial organizational change.
For example, the basal ganglia, a region of the brain, controls much of our habits, including many of our work routines. Because these habitual repeating tasks become hard wired, we don’t have to give them any conscious attention, they require significantly less mental energy to complete. So it’s no surprise that the way we’ve always done things feels not only right, but also wonderful.
Change jolts us out of our rut by stimulating the prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain that controls our perception and impulse control. However, the prefrontal cortex is also connected to the amygdala, which is the brain’s fear circuitry and regulates our freeze, fight, or flight response. The amygdala link kicks into high gear when the prefrontal brain is overloaded with complicated and unfamiliar thoughts. All of the negative emotions that change leaders detect in their teams, such as worry, fear, melancholy, sadness, weariness, and rage, are the result (and often in themselves).
But, while research can help us understand our negative reactions to change, it can also provide insights on how to help people deal with change:
1. First of all, make the change familiar. When you show individuals two photographs of themselves, one that is an exact portrayal and the other that is a reverse image, they will prefer the second since it is the image they see every day in the mirror. To advance a new or difficult topic, a lot of repetition is required. Continually discussing change and focusing on essential elements will allow the novel to become more familiar and less terrifying over time.
2. Allow people to effect change. No one loves change that is forced upon them; but, most individuals respond positively to change that they initiate, and brain science explains why. As understanding develops and the brain begins to establish new and complicated connections, a person’s brain scan shows a huge amount of activity at the time they choose to change. The brain releases a burst of neurotransmitters like adrenaline when people solve problems on their own, and this natural high gets positively associated with the transformation experience.
3. Make your communication more straightforward. Don’t try to cram everything you know about the shift into one large piece, as tempting as it may be. Your duty is to assist individuals make sense of complexity by distilling it down to two or three key objectives that they can grasp.
4. Don’t sugarcoat the truth. Your brain is constantly on the lookout for signs of impending danger. When too optimistic outcomes or unrealistic expectations are revealed (as they almost always are), your brain cortex goes into high alert, searching for more evidence of deception and causing the primitive brain to respond with feelings of dread.
5. Encourage others to pay attention. In the brain, the act of paying attention causes chemical and physical changes. Attention, in fact, is what is constantly altering brain structures. The phrase attention density refers to the amount of time spent paying attention to a single mental experience. The higher the attention density, the more concentrated one is on a single concept. Long-term desired behavior is facilitated by high attention density. Now, one technique to get people to pay attention is to present fresh ideas in a variety of attention-getting formats. A story, a game, an experience, a comedic skit, a metaphor, an image, or even a song can all be used to tell a story.
6. Don’t undervalue the power of feelings. According to neurologist and author Antonio Damasio, the amygdala, which generates emotions, is so firmly tied to the core of our conscious brain that no one makes decisions based solely on reasoning. Damasio’s research shows that unconscious mental processes drive our decision-making, and rational reasoning is actually only a way to excuse emotional decisions. As a result, when leaders declare change, they must go beyond reasoning and facts and appeal to the audience’s emotions.
7. Also, keep in mind that emotions are contagious. Emotions, like the common cold, are literally contagious. Simply being in the same room with someone can cause you to “catch” an emotion. When the leader is angry or despondent, negativity can spread like a virus to the rest of the team, impacting attitudes and diminishing energy levels. On the other hand, positive and optimistic leaders are more likely to energise their entire team.
8. Pay attention to your body language. Your verbal meaning is lost when your body language does not match your words. Colgate University neuroscientists use electroencephalograph (EEG) machines to measure “event related potentials” – brain waves that create peaks and troughs – to explore the impact of gestures. When subjects are presented gestures that contradict what is spoken, one of these valleys happens. When people listen to incomprehensible words, they experience the same brain wave dip. So, if you say you’re open to recommendations for implementing change yet cross your arms in a “closed” gesture while talking about “openness,” you’re literally making no sense. People will believe what they see rather than what you say if they are forced to.
9. Provide people with a solid basis. A perception of stability can be maintained in a continually changing organization when instability must be accepted as unavoidable. The leader’s job is to bring stability to the organization by honoring its history, outlining present triumphs and difficulties, and casting a compelling vision for the future. And when I say “vision,” I’m not referring to a business mission statement with bullet points. I’m referring to a well-articulated, emotionally charged, and all-encompassing picture of the organization’s goals.
10. Make the most of the strength of inclusive partnerships. Researchers discovered that when someone feels excluded, there is equivalent activity in the brain region involved in the “suffering” component of pain using (fMRI) technology. In other words, the sensation of being excluded triggers the same type of brain response that physical pain does. The new pillars of change leadership place a premium on inclusive and collaborative connections. The foundation for organizational success is social networks, which are those linkages among individuals that are founded on mutual trust, shared work experiences, and personal connections. Anything you can do as a leader to foster these mutually beneficial relationships will improve your team’s and organization’s preparation for change.
Chapter 1: Sense of Urgency
“Sense of urgency is not the natural state of affairs. It has to be created and recreated.”- John Kotter from his book “A sense of Urgency”
At any level, leading IT transformation necessitates the ability to instill a sense of urgency. An environment that may motivate and focus the team on a daily basis. Only in this environment does digital transformation become a necessary and urgent shift.
Why is it necessary to create a sense of urgency?
“Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value”. – Jim Rohn
It will provide the initial impetus to get things moving, as well as maintain the momentum for IT transformation.
To establish a sense of urgency, who should you collaborate with?
Ideally, you should start with the top leadership and work your way down from there. This is only conceivable if your firm is now experiencing a tornado-like condition. Realistically, you’ll have to deal with early adopters at all levels, including senior management.
What Is the Importance of Change Urgency?
What is the significance of urgency in a transformation effort? Because real organizational change cannot occur without the agreement of the impacted stakeholders, urgency is critical. This is why the first step leaders must take to achieve management and employee collaboration is to create a sense of urgency for needed change.
Leaders generate a feeling of urgency by selling the value of a future state to organizational stakeholders while also making the status quo a risky place to stay. In effect, top leaders craft a convincing narrative that explains to stakeholders why the organization’s existing status is not in their best interests.
This is frequently accomplished by candid discussions about current market and competitive realities, the disclosure of pertinent financial and customer data, and the discussion of possibilities and crises confronting the company. Communication is essential, and messaging regarding the urgent need for change must be straightforward. A phony sense of urgency will soon be exposed for what it is, dooming a reform effort to mediocrity.
The organization recognizes the importance of change and recognizes that it is no longer a choice.
How to Instill a Sense of Importance in Your Team
There are various methods that leaders can take to instill a feeling of urgency among their management, employees, and other stakeholders.
• Demonstrating the seriousness of leadership commitment to the impending shift by reducing visible waste;
• Informing the organization of negative news;
• Requiring managers and staff to speak directly with dissatisfied suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders on a frequent basis in order to understand their issues;
• Disseminating data within the organization that supports the need for change; and
• Assuring that organizational decisions and management actions are aligned with change communications (walk the talk).
The first step leader