Leading a transformation: core is trust but then?

Who of us is not in a transformation mode in this 21st century? Who didn’t notice that the world is changing? Well has it ever stopped changing? Luckily no… Things are static when there’s no life in them. Change is a constant we live with. Its pace has drastically accelerated probably these last years but change is here and is here to stay whether we want it or not.

Now with this word “change” in organizations comes “fear”, rare people see in change “opportunity”, so you can imagine the emotions related to “transformation”, “cultural transformation”. Trust is the core in these situations. Interesting fact is that everyone thinks “trust” is encored in their teams until change or transformation starts. With trust, transformation can be ignited.

We would hear a lot that “it has to start from the top”, other would argue that at the opposite it has to be a “bottom-up approach”, always the same people on the “top” deciding if it has to be top-down or bottom-up… What if we stop for a moment these hierarchical attributes and think of our people in an organization as a bunch of talented and diverse individuals willing to thrive and transform for a common vision and “why”. Once we start seeing this, real transformation begins! It has to be a movement! It’s all about creating this movement, and once there, this community can live by its own and that’s the beauty of leadership to my eyes: we as leaders are not needed anymore, movement is so big it will continue without us… The more diverse and inclusive the community behind the movement is, the bigger chance it has to make it happen.

My learning through leading transformations is that creating a movement can be challenging but so rewarding that leaders and teams are willing to endorse as a community. The biggest “hurdle” though as it grows is not killing it with continuous frustrations within this community… So transformation doesn’t stop once the movement has been created. As leaders, we have to go into the details and understand the frustrations this community is facing (will face) throughout the organization. Map each one of them, work it out with the different parties, coach, train people in the movement and those who didn’t yet onboard. Try to nail down each one of these roadblocks so that the movement grow bigger in the different parts of the organization and delivers its promise.

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