Three Simple Steps to Radical Change

stuck in a box


Leaders change things. Leaders who can’t manage change fail.

Everything that successfully resists change dies.

“Companies that pursue and embrace change are healthy, growing, and dynamic organizations, while companies that fear change are stagnant entities on their way to a slow and painful death.”

Mike Myatt in, Hacking Leadership

Three steps in the change life-cycle.

#1. Identify the need.

The need for change is best identified in three areas.

  1. Current customers. What needs to change to better serve current customers.
  2. Potential customers. What needs to change to profitably create new customers.
  3. Corporate culture. What changes need to occur to better serve your current workforce … so that they can better influence items one and two above?

#2. Lead the change.

There are four typical responses to change.

  1. The victim. Those who view change as a personal attack.
  2. The neutral bystander. They  go with the flow and fly under the radar.
  3. The critic. Those who oppose any and all change. Remember some critics are secret saboteurs.
  4. The advocate. Those who create momentum and enthusiasm.

Connect with all four constituencies. Involve all of them. Message properly to each. And, don’t let up.

#3. Manage the change:

Key players must control four critical elements of change.

  1. Alignment. Elevate those who understand and agree with the vision. Convert or neutralize those who disagree.
  2. Responsibility. Provide sufficient responsibility to advocates.
  3. Accountability. Expect change agents to deliver results.
  4. Authority. If the first three items are covered but the change initiative stalls, change agents haven’t been given sufficient authority.

Before you begin:

  1. Alignment. Align with values, vision and mission.
  2. Buy-in. At least one senior leader must champion the new initiative.
  3. Advantage. Identify the benefit.
  4. Due diligence. Bad ideas can sound good.
  5. Ease of use.
  6. Identify risks.
  7. The project. Change needs plans with measurable deliverables and beginnings, middles, and ends.

This post is adapted from, Hacking Leadership, by Mike Myatt.

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How can leaders change things?