Where strategic leadership engages in a strategy formulation process to create strategy, the resulting change is purely a matter of execution efficiency, in other words we must translate strategy to action. Therefore it is preferred that organisational change initiatives are part of a strategy development session, for the simple reason that such change will be fully authorised. But, where there are high flyers within the organisation who have great ideas, change management becomes a bit more difficult. The reason is quite straight forward. Change that is not directly authorised will not be executed immediately. Unfortunately, irrelevant of how good any idea is, it will need allocated resources such as money people and assets to manifest. Even where executive management authorises a junior task team to develop an implementation plan for change, such might (more often than not) never see the light.
It is unfortunate that many executive teams fail to milk junior employees for brilliant ideas since the front line who produces the bottom line often knows best what the solutions to complex executive problems are. Frontline employees and junior managers know since they operate where rubber meets road. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney and Oprah Winfrey are but a few examples of employees whose brilliance were overlooked by the companies who employed them. These same employees later became their former employer’s greatest competition.
So what does a young bright employee do to bring his or her great idea too life? Well, firstly, it is important to note that the primary difference between top-down and bottom-up change is that the former is a matter of execution efficiency and the latter a matter of influence. Reality is that most organisational change will take place from top-down since, at some point, change must become authorised and resources must be allocated. The implication of this is that where a junior employee wants to bring about change, he or she will first have to get such approved, which becomes a matter of influence.
Herewith Seven tips to those ‘not so authorised’ organisational rebels who wants to effect change…
1. Make sure that your desired change will enhance mission and vision. No senior manager will support an initiative that does not strengthen purpose or which does not assist in the execution of strategic intent. Ask the right questions to ensure that there is no strategic disconnect...
2. Learn to build a business case. Those in power are more interested in the probability and impact of results than they are in the technicalities of your ingenious thinking.
3. Hone up your negotiation skills. You will need this more than anything else. People of influence have mastered the art of hearing others say ‘YES’.
4. Practice your presentation skills. Your ideas needs to be heard and understood. Brilliance means nothing if no one knows about it.
5. Be a bold. You will not succeed if you live in fear of making career limiting statements. Realising change requires courageousness, confidence and taking of risk!
6. Get into project management. If approved, you will have to prove your ability to execute. The only way to ensure efficient and effective transformation (from idea to practical reality) is through applying proven and tested project management principles.
7. Build a competent army. You cannot do this alone. It takes one person to generate an idea, but it will take a team to execute.
You might succeed or fail; heaven forbid, you might event get fired! But, you will get stronger. The key is not to give up. Great rewards await those who can bring about change. In fact there is ample evidence that the highest paid employees in the world today are those who can see what needs to change and then effectively produces such…
In conclusion, make the decision and then make it happen… In my Strategic Leadership Master Class we thoroughly work with the art and science of change management…
© 27 April 2015
© 27 April 2015 Derek Hendrikz Consulting