managemnet company management 5 Tips for Leading Change: The End is the Beginning

5 Tips for Leading Change: The End is the Beginning

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5 Tips for Ahead of Change: The End Is the Beginning

Jeff Skipper

I LOVE ACTION! This is my favorite part of every movie. Irrevocable decisions will be made. Heroes will push things beyond what is reasonable. There is no going back.

As exciting as it is for movies, it’s often a deadly business move. When management decides on a change – a new app, or a new process to help customers – everyone wants to act so they can realize the expected results as soon as possible. However, you cannot successfully lead change without a clear destination. In the rush to show that action is taking place, that is a simple point that is often overlooked. Quick wins can lead to big losses if we don’t move in the right direction.

Clarity of goal eliminates confusion, sets guidelines for tactics, and avoids wasted time and effort. But we cannot proceed in any direction. The ultimate goal should be to understand and attract the people you lead. Since different people have different priorities – and we act in our own interests – the challenge is to harmonize everything and move in the same direction.

Here are five proven tips to guide change by starting with purpose:

1. Set a goal: Set a general goal for the change. Make it as clear as possible. Change cannot be about a hundred things. It must have a single, clear focus that encompasses diverse interests while being resilient enough to withstand changing circumstances.

2. Stay level headed: We want to be clear on the destination, but not so specific that it doesn’t allow for adjustments. Keep the goal high enough to allow for the inevitable changes that will come as you begin to move forward. This allows different ways to achieve.

3. Include basic details: When communicating the intent for change, the first two things your audience will want to know are what the change is (the intent) and how it will apply to them. Deal with the basics by including all the essentials of the objective: the who, what, why, when, and where:

Where are we going?

Who is affected?

What should I do differently?

What is there for me? Does it hurt?

Why are we doing this?

When will this happen?

4. Paint the picture: There is a difference between telling them the facts and telling them a story. Sharing the goal in the form of a narrative that illustrates what will happen in the future will have the greatest positive impact on people for motivation and purchase. How will customers’ lives be different? How will the lives of employees change?

When you make a new change, it’s common to map out the journey – how it will be accomplished. Tell your audience that details are coming and give them a timeline. It’s more important that they have the goal in mind while you’re working out the details.

5. Highlight the benefits: Highlighting the benefits of change gives it purpose, which makes it easier to support people. Your audience needs to know that the conversion process is worth it. Connecting the goal with the benefits for each person is an important motivator. Connecting the goal with benefits for others can be more powerful. A change that helps those around us that gives purpose and meaning to our lives, is a common desire for everyone.

There is one more element of change that leaders need to keep in mind. Nothing great or noble can be done without giving up something else. In that element of sacrifice, there can also be pain. Consider what happened during the pandemic, when many businesses found themselves making sudden but necessary changes to protect their workforce. Life also underwent sudden changes: Families had to sacrifice their plans, children went to school from home, marriages were delayed, social connections were lost. For others, the sacrifice is more than that.

As a leader, it is important to be sensitive to the negatives as well as the positives that a change can bring. Better to call that pain early and often and help people prepare. Setting the goal clearly enables people to start processing the reality of change and the pain it can bring – so they are ready for what happens next.

Leading change is a noble calling. People want to know they can trust the person in charge. Before jumping into action, take the time to set a clear goal.


Leading Forum

Jeff Skipper is an international transformation leadership consultant for organizations in the energy, finance, technology, and other industries. For more than twenty-five years, beginning with a twelve-year career at IBM, he has guided transformation projects by focusing on the people side of change. As CEO he grew a transformation services company to seven figures in just five years. He and his family live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. His new book Dancing with Disruption: Leading Dramatic Change During Global Transformation. Learn more at


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Posted by Michael McKinney at 07:04 AM

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