Leadership presence: a (BIG) small win!
As a change management consultant of four years and for those of us who have either led and/or seen change efforts both succeed and horribly fail, we can’t stress enough how essential are Kotter’s eight steps to leading transformational change. The one step that resonates most with me given my experience in change projects is “building a guiding coalition” of leaders and change champions who have the power, energy, motivation, desire and enthusiasm to lead and support a transformational change effort in a collaborative manner.
The secret sauce to a powerful and sustainable guiding coalition? Active leadership presence and involvement.
Without leadership alignment, support, buy-in AND active participation, at some point or the other, this guiding coalition will begin to lose momentum and energy towards embedding change throughout an organization. And that’s when you see a change effort fall flat on its face.
Now, how might this apply to a global change effort driven by an online learning community?
Since my first post, I can say that leadership presence and active participation of executives in the online (private) group has created some energy and excitement among L&D members to join efforts and take an active role in the community group. Having the Chief Learning Officer and regional heads of L&D introduce themselves and begin to share updates on what is going on in their respective locations has started to launch more readership and sharing of content and updates. These leaders are beginning to take on a “formulating” attitude as they begin to recognize the value of leveraging social media to embed the seeds of a “one community” feel and the need to be more organized and strategic in its use to drive culture change.
While I am not confident to say that we are feeling like “one team” as yet, I do strongly feel that leadership presence is a successful BIG small win that has transpired since my last spot as I am starting to see more members join the group, introduce themselves and share valuable content as a result of leaders getting more involved in the online community. I hope that this small (BIG) win will sow the seeds to embarking on the transformational effort successfully with members collaborating across locations on the various change workstreams and initiatives. As HBR authors Quy Huy and Andrew Shipilov would say, people only begin to engage in such online communities if they begin to derive some learning from them which is certainly starting to happen as more members are joining, introducing themselves, reading other’s content, and hopefully taking away some new learning.
Is potentially the leveraging of social media in these early stages of change one way to actually accelerate organizational change?
Let’s wait and see together!