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A guide to leader-led behaviour change

Janellis have run a series of transformation related events attended by a cross-section of organisations.

Most organisations have cited that the ‘change management aspects’ of strategic execution are one of the most difficult and unresolved areas. This area appears to be the ‘least understood and invested in’ part of transformation initiatives – but recognised as being critical to success.

Traditional change management approaches are occurring at tactical levels across business units, and some EPMO’s have this oversight and responsibility.

A more sophisticated, effective and enterprise-wide approach to change management now includes: strategic change management oversight; leader-led change; clearer links between financial benefits and the behaviours required to achieve them; tools to enable the behaviour changes to occur and tracking of the behaviour change success indicators.

A guide to leader-led behaviour change

1. CLARIFY STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES

Ensure the strategic objectives are measurable and that there is Executive and Board level support and the scale of the change required is understood.

2. IDENTIFY STAKEHOLDERS AND DEFINE CAPABILITY

Behaviours should be a visible manifestation of strategy, so it is important that the strategic objectives are aligned strongly with capabilities and behaviours. Identify all the key stakeholders to be impacted by the change and the critical capabilities required.

3. DETERMINE BEHAVIOURS THAT BUILD CAPABILITY

The process of behaviour-led transformation is driven by clear definitions and metrics. Once the behavioural definitions are made measurable, the organisation can set about the process of influencing and driving them.

Select a group of people who are already exhibiting some of the key desirable behaviours. Develop the explicit behaviour’s required and keep the number of behaviours to a limited and achievable number to track. Use examples and stories to illustrate the behaviours and to help reach consensus. Ensure that there are clear links from the desired behaviours to the capabilities required to achieve the strategic and financial objectives.

4. PROVIDE ENABLERS TO DRIVE THE BEHAVIOR CHANGE

SKILLS: Are the behaviours aligned to the current skills of the leaders? Do they have the skills to demonstrate the new behaviours? Do they need further training? Do they have sufficient ‘softer skills’ or leadership skills for this type of change? Do they recognise the gap in their current skills and are they willing to develop further professionally?

ENVIRONMENT: Does the current environment enable and support the desired behaviours? Are there any cultural or power based factors that need to be addressed? Is there an effective support team dynamic with an appropriate recognition and reward program? Do they have the tools that they would need to be effective?

MOTIVATION: Are the behaviours aligned to individuals personal values? Is there a peer support group in place that supports the new behaviours? Are the desired behaviours aligned with their personal KPIs? Are the consequences of non-compliance clear? Are there (financial) rewards or recognition for changing these behaviours?

SYSTEMS: Do the business systems and work processes align with, and enable the desired behaviour? Is there a visible and approachable escalation point to get help when required or when further clarity is needed or issues can’t be resolved easily? Is there a process to manage individuals who are unwilling or unable to exhibit the desired behaviours? Is behaviour alignment being monitored and reported at an Executive level?

5. LEADING AND COACHING NEW BEHAVIOURS

Leaders need to exhibit the desired behaviours and the concept of ‘self-monitoring’ needs to be introduced and; it needs to be visible and transparent to all involved in the change. Individuals who are already exhibiting the desired behaviours need to be acknowledged as change leaders and involved as key influencers. Existing communications channels need to be used as well as facilitating highly targeted stakeholder engagement activities that focus on behaviours.

Change leaders need to provide on-going coaching on the new behaviours using stories and examples that are current and directly linked to those individuals involved. There needs to be an on-going peer review process that recognises rewards and celebrates the people who are demonstrating the desired behaviours. Leaders need to use the ‘do not promote’ strategy for individuals not willing to change.

6. EMBED AND SUSTAIN THE CHANGES

Link and include the desired behaviours within the individual KPIs. Monitor and review those unwilling or unable to change their behaviours and have a process to manage where necessary. Continue to promote and reward individuals and leaders exhibiting the desired behaviours. When hiring new team members ensure they already exhibit the desired behaviours.

Linking behaviours to results makes behaviour measurement a leading indicator of success.

Download full paper here.