Seven Keys to Leading ChangeChange isn’t news. But the continually accelerating pace of organizational change is. People feel inundated, overwhelmed, and stressed. Adaptive organizations provide inspiration and practical tools to everyone in order to help deal with our rapid pace of change and uncertainty.

Our turbulent times have created waves of fear, frustration, and uncertainty. When these negative forces flood through the workplace, they often wash away morale and motivation.

It’s impossible to predict where all this change is taking us. But one thing is certain — the pace of change is not likely to slow down any time soon.  To thrive in turbulent times, organizations must change perceptions and behaviors to change results.

Recently Zenger Folkman reviewed the ratings of 2,852 direct reports of 559 leaders across 49 behaviors. These assessments included the leader’s effectiveness at leading change. ZF’s analysis of the results uncovered two ineffective behaviors. The first finding was that warm and positive relationships don’t bring about effective change. The second insight showed that nagging with incessant requests, suggestions, and advice is highly annoying and irritates rather than leads change.

As outlined in their latest Harvard Business Review blog, “7 Things Leaders Do to Help People Change,” Zenger Folkman uncovered key behaviors to leading change. You might use this ranked ordered checklist to assess your change leadership efforts:

  1. Inspiring others – pulling rather than pushing others to be energized by the changes, make emotional connections, and rousing desire to change rather than stoking fear.
  2. Noticing problems – recognize problems and anticipate issues to be addressed.
  3. Providing a clear goal – getting everyone focused on the top priorities and change strategies.
  4. Challenging standard approaches – maneuvering around old practices and policies and sometimes pushing back on outdated rules.
  5. Building trust in your judgment – improving your judgment and other’s perception of it through collecting data and seeking opinions and advice.
  6. Having courage – this often means changing processes, reorganizing, having difficult conversations, providing redirecting feedback, and taking bold actions.
  7. Making change a top priority – clearing away competing priorities and focusing on the change effort.

I’ve written extensively about leading change. Click on Change Management blogs and articles to browse a collection of perspectives on this vital leadership topic.