The ability to bring new direction or change is important to any new or future leader. In many cases, a new leader is brought in to create a change or a new direction for the organization. It is important to choose that new change or direction carefully.
“There is nothing wrong with Change, if it is in the right direction” Winston Churchill
Your ability to solve simple and complex problems can be an important factor in getting you promoted or selected into any type of new leadership role. Many of my most valuable employees don’t blame the computers, or other people when addressing ways to solve important stress points at work. In leadership, we must ask ourselves – “Which employees can we afford NOT to lose” and I think you find in that group the employees who are good at problem solving or can create positive change.
So why is creating positive changes or problem solving so important to us in leadership? First, they show your level of commitment to making the organization better. Secondly, making good changes or problem solving can show management a higher level of ability and critical thinking skills. There is a long line of employees who can tell you what the problems are. The people who can find the solution are the next leaders.
Here are five tips that you should consider in making any change in your new organization or current job:
1. Seek to understand the situation first and know what they do well before making decisions of necessary changes. Always avoid taking only others word when researching the problem. I recommend looking at each situation first-hand until you form your own opinion. Everyone will understand if you want to do your own research on the situation. This is an important step in doing your homework on the right solution for change.
2. Is there a good balance in addressing short-term problems with long-term changes? Too many times we tackle problems that are not urgent to the organization. Your choice on the order of change can have a huge impact on your early creditability.
3. Does everyone agree on the priorities that need changed? Finding the issues that have the greatest impact are not always the most popular to tackle. In many cases – selling the logic of the direction is as important as the change itself. Most people don’t like change unless they see the benefit up front.
4. Do these changes to problems keep them solved? Long term changes that are effective always get to the root of the problem. Failure to find the source of the problem will prevent long term changes and can erode a leader’s reputation if it happens to often.
5. Does everyone understand the consequences for delaying these changes? They say no answer is an answer. If you choose to avoid a needed change doesn’t mean the problem will go away. Sometimes these delays actually will have negative impact on the operation.
How do you know when a change has been defined as successful? Can you think of a good example?