Our CEO and host of The HR Uprising Podcast Lucinda Carney outlines 5 skills and attributes or ‘secret powers’ which she believes can help us to become Change Superheroes at work.
A bit like the Lion in the Wizard of Oz, we need to be ready to stand up and be counted. We can all achieve this by building the courage to communicate with key stakeholders who are resistant to change on a personal level. We should recognise that those in senior positions are still just people that hold the same natural emotional reactions to change as anyone else. By personally meeting with stakeholders they will feel listened to and will be more likely to back change or reach a middle ground.
Furthermore, if they are the sponsor of change (e.g. a training initiative), yet are not fully committed, then this presents an ideal opportunity to agree on messaging. For example, deciding on a behaviour style to be used so that they appear supportive.
Connecting with strategy
To become change superheroes, we must inspire people to want to change and create a sense of urgency. We must first be strategic, asking where do we want the business to go? Then we should convey to people the reason for the change, to help them to see the future and to inspire them. Also consider and convey what is in it for them. We don’t always like change but if we understand the bigger picture we may be more inclined to go along with it.
Corroboration links to us being evidence-based. It is about having the power to influence others through logical argument, through facts and figures. This may take the form of data, case studies, innovation from third parties, or professional bodies that are relevant to your audience.
For example, if you're an NHS Trust, you could take a case study of a different NHS Trust that has tried to do something in a certain way, and had a really good result. Or, it could be about understanding and presenting the evidence that your organisation's current attrition rates are set at X and are therefore 20 per cent lower than the national average.
To successfully carry out change we need to listen to people and understand that not all change is going to be received positively. There are human emotions to consider and we should consider the language we are using to communicate with the audience we are addressing. It is also important to convey that the change is here to stay and that although individuals may not be happy with it, you are here to support them through it.
Kotter’s 7 Step Change Model can really help provide a structured process for implementing change. Often, when people think they’ve made the most of the change, communication can stop. Kotter suggests that you should communicate short or quick wins to avoid this.
No one can create change alone and the bigger and stronger the ‘league of change superheroes’ you have, the greater your chance of success. It is about collaborating not just for the purpose of change but being open and friendly. Ask the question, how can we work together to bring about positive change? This applies to those outside of the HR department too, so be prepared to personally support others with their causes so that they will help you in return.
Become a Change Superhero
For more information on the topic of Change, access our Change Superhero Toolkit here.
This content is based on the book ‘How to be a Change Superhero’, written by the CEO of Actus Software, Lucinda Carney. This book is intended for people who want to stand up and make a difference igniting and inspiring successful change but don’t know where to start. We reached bestselling status shortly after launch in the HR and Personnel Management Charts on Amazon! Why not take a look at the book?