During this last year, we have all had to make efforts to adapt to the changes derived from Covid-19. Taken to the scope of the company, the new situation has stressed the organizations demanding a response to the unique situation in record time . Knowing how to manage change and work under pressure are more than ever the challenges that organizations and their leaders have to face.
Change management, what is it?
Change management is a structured process that helps us address situations of transformation towards a new reality or stage. The correct management of any change helps to accept and assimilate it so that organizations and people can adapt and evolve.
Why is change management important for good leadership?
We live in a world of continuous change, now more than ever we are under the pressure of a society of constant and instantaneous demand and this has repercussions on our consumption habits, which requires companies to have a frenetic pace of internal renovation and, a good Change management is a key factor for successful leadership.
The companies with the most power in the market are those that have known how to renew themselves, transform themselves and avoid stagnation. Kodak is a clear example, digital photography was a new challenge for the company, but they did not know how to solve this great change in time.
The changes can be internal or external.
It will be the one that affects the internal management of the company, that is, changes within the teams, a new product that we want to bring to the market, a new strategy that requires a restructuring of the workforce, etc.
We must be up to date with changes in the competitive sector of our company, the economy, technological developments, new competitors, etc.
All this can affect us, so we must be vigilant and, above all, prepared for any changes that this may require. Anticipation is key.
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Change management: Difficulties and phases
It is important to talk about John Kotter when we talk about change management. In his book, Leading Change, Kotter explains the eight stages of change.
Create sense of urgency
It is important to recognize the opportunity quickly and transmit the proposal to our team as soon as possible. For this, we must do it in the simplest way and in a way that everyone understands the need to immerse themselves in this new project. We must show them what benefits us and why we want to implement this new idea, telling them what forecasts we will have in the medium-long term.
Form a coalition
The leader must seek support within the company and help him convey his ideas. This support group should be representative of the people who will be involved in the change, if possible it will be beneficial if they are from different departments. The chosen people must believe in the project and transmit this to their colleagues.
Create the vision
The vision is the goal we want to achieve and the situation we want to achieve after making the change. The vision we create must be easy to understand, easy to communicate and also easy to remember. In this way, the information will reach the people involved in a simple way, which avoids the frustration of not understanding the mission and losing interest in it.
Communicate the vision
When we already have a clear vision and its message, we must communicate it to the rest of the team. It is common and natural to find resistance within the organization, there may be disagreement or reluctance to change. For this we must make an effort to dispel any doubts that may exist, constantly emphasize and remember the message to dispel fears of change.
Overcome the obstacles
Despite our efforts throughout the process, it is natural to continue to encounter obstacles and people who do not accept this change well. We must identify them and take care of making them participate and aware of the benefits of the new move. It is also important because it can discourage others, we must not lose sight of those who are refusing to accept this situation.
Ensuring short-term success
To maintain motivation, we must set small goals throughout the process, since they are usually long and sometimes take a long time to reflect results. Therefore, we will talk about the small victories that we are achieving, always acknowledging and thanking the people who are involved in it.
Grow on the change already generated
We must always remember that it is a long process that we are carrying out, and that small victories do not mean that success is completely assured. We must maintain vigilance and prevent our team from falling apart in the face of any adversity or error.
Fix the changes
Successfully overcoming the first change, we must anticipate and start over. Once the importance of not getting stuck by all the components of the team has been recognized, and taking advantage of the fact that they already know and know what process change entails, we must continue along this line towards successful leadership.
How to lead under pressure?
Once we have examined change management, its importance and what phases we must follow, we must take into account the pressure to which we are going to be subjected as leaders.
Having everything under control, anticipating, solving problems that may arise in the process of change and achieving the success of our project involves constant stress, so it is convenient to take into account the following guidelines:
It is important to know how to stay calm, a leader must know how to control his nerves and put everything in perspective. Reflecting and analyzing the situation can help us to have greater control and thus relax the tension
Trust our team
We must support and trust our team, although we are the visible head, we are directly part of it, therefore, our relationship must be close and trustworthy.
For teamwork to flow, we must have good communication. Transmit a clear and, above all, transparent message, so that the team feels that they can trust their leader.
Work on empathy
It is essential to put ourselves in the place of others. Trying to understand them and get out of our mental position as leaders for a moment will help us recognize the needs and problems of our team members.
We must be prepared for any adversity, our position requires responsibility and knowing how to face adversity with the best possible attitude. We must transmit to others confidence and character in difficult situations, this will help others find motivation and inspiration in their leaders.
In summary, leading is not an easy task, much less in extreme situations. We must prepare and train ourselves to do it in the best possible way, seeking help from professionals who can advise us.