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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.

Let’s wait and see together!

pna166 • April 24, 2016


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Comments

  1. Melinda Turnley April 27, 2016 - 5:10 pm Reply

    Yes! Your first two blog posts do a great job of articulating crucial connections among culture, leadership participation, and a successful ESN. Dan Pontefract had a piece in Forbes last year that talks about how an ESN can’t automatically create a collaborative culture but it can actualize a culture in which leaders demonstrate a commitment to openness and collaboration: http://www.forbes.com/sites/danpontefract/2015/05/26/your-enterprise-social-network-isnt-being-used-mostly-because-of-your-corporate-culture/#4f109f9c44c4

  2. Jeff Merrell May 11, 2016 - 6:47 pm Reply

    I love the insight about the leaders taking on a “formulating attitude” Re: the enterprise social tools. From your example here, kudos to those participating leaders for working our their “formulating” thinking by actively engaging in the community. That just seems like such a natural approach: Hey, if we want to figure out how to be more strategic and mindful of our use of enterprise social media, then let’s mess around with it and explore how it works.

    But wow – I really understand how unique it is for some leaders to have that kind of learning mindset. Yet – that’s what it takes, I think. Either get in there yourself and start to formulate. Or at least let others get in there and formulate, but stay out of their way and listen to what they discover.

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