I’ve worked for years helping CIOs and organizations transform their organizations. And in my experience leadership is the #1 thing that’s important if you want to achieve any form of change. If you don’t demonstrate leadership, people won’t actually change.
Eight elements of good leadership
There are eight elements that go into effective leadership. If you can successfully integrate these into an MoC program, you can more quickly and effectively lead employees to internalize the desired change, improving your ROI.
- Create a vision: Explain why the change must occur, give a reason and create desire for the future state.
- Be engaged and engage your people: Establish stakeholder management and ask them what they want but also tell them what will change
- Be available: Answer questions, admit when you don’t have the answer, and keep an open door policy
- Walk the talk: Show more than lip service
- Acknowledge the fear; the fear for the unknown and manage the denial and resistance because of that
- Prepare your staff: Create awareness, unlearn old behavior and learn new ones.
- Provide something tangible: Reward people in a proper way, create career development and other possibilities.
- Create a new comfort zone: Give room for internalization and rebuild teams.
Leading through a transformational change
IT is going through a period of seismic change right now, and many CIOs are having to lead their organizations through complex transformations. For example, many of our customers are grappling right now with the shift to cloud computing. How can a CIO demonstrate effective leadership in this scenario?
One of the first priorities has to do with creating a vision. What does going to a cloud computing model actually mean? When I work with customers I help them formalize the answer to questions like that.
But creating a vision is not enough by itself. You need to be able to explain completely what will be different after the change and how the organization will look. In other words, what does it mean for my people?
Once you have created a vision and understand what the future looks like, then you can communicate and engage more effectively. Your communication needs to make sure people are aware of the change and understand it so that they’ll eventually be able to internalize it.
Understand that there will be resistance. Introducing CLOUD in a company’s supply chain requires moving to a hybrid delivery model for example, consolidates all the technology resources, and one result is that you cannot have shadow IT. This is where as a leader you must understand what people are going through by listening. But you also need to motivate people and explain to them why the future state is better for the organization. You must also have a list of non-negotiables.
As a leader, you shift the energy away from the feeling of being powerless and the feeling of the security of the past to seeing opportunities for the future.