By Joshua Brusse, Chief Architect, Asia Pacific and Japan, HP Software Professional Services
(Joshua Brusse has more than 20 years experience in all aspects of running IT as a business. He consults with HP enterprise customers regarding strategy, governance, service lifecycle management, and organizational design and transformation.)
In my last post (“3 elements for management of organizational change”) I wrote about why it’s so important to have a management of organizational change (MOC) program in your organization. Today I want to talk about one of the fundamental elements you need for a successful change: leadership.
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: Manage the fear of the unknown that leads to denial and resistance.
- Prepare your staff: Create awareness, unlearn old behavior and train them.
- 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. (I’ll write more about communication and engagement in an upcoming post.)
Understand that there will be resistance. Moving to a hybrid delivery model, for example, integrates delivery of traditional IT, outsourcing and cloud in one supply chain. This consolidates all the technology resources, and one result is that you cannot have shadow IT. People will need to give that up. 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.
- HP Software Professional Services
- 3 elements for management of organizational change
- Joshua Brusse’s page on hp.com