Avoid These 3 Pitfalls When Leading Organizational Change
Leading an organizational transformation is hard. If you’ve got a major change on the horizon (or if you're currently leading one that's stuck in a ditch), you need to be aware of three common pitfalls — and how to avoid them.
- Don't underestimate the scope of the work. Executing a transformation at scale typically requires more time and coordination than leaders expect. To counter this, make sure you have realistic expectations. Take an incremental approach to the overall goal by launching a series of small-scale projects and initiatives led by distinct teams. And be sure that all of these related initiatives — and the people who lead them — are aligned, communicate effectively, and avoid taking on overlapping or conflicting work.
- Don’t overestimate your employees' capacity to execute your vision while continuing to carry out their existing day-to-day responsibilities. Listen for feedback about their ability to deliver. Be ready to adapt accordingly.
- Don’t hide why this transformation is important to you. Be transparent and express why you believe the organization should move in this new direction. You want to be a leader who inspires trust throughout the transition.
Adapted from “How Leaders Get in the Way of Organizational Change,” by Ron Carucci