Thursday, 7 January 2016

Four Ps for Leading Change in 2016

They get everywhere, don't they?  Gangs of four letters traveling together, alliteratively demanding attention.  4Ps of Marketing; 4 Ps of Strategy; 4Cs of Learning; and so on.  Just rolling with it, here are 4Ps for leading change in 2016 - things that I'm seeing more and more on the agenda, and which I think as change leaders we need to be increasingly good at.

No surprise in P number one - Portfolio.  I've seen a real shift over the past years to an emphasis on managing portfolios of change, rather than expecting LOBs to handle a plethora of separate change initiatives.  Prioritising, filtering, sequencing - most organisations are getting this in place.  Here's a next step, though - integrating at the point of change.  Simply, the LOB implements one set of changes that integrate those associated with multiple programmes or projects.  Tougher to manage, but an awful lot simpler for line managers and their teams who can establish a rhythm of change 'upgrades' through the year.

Second P - Purpose.  Nothing new here, perhaps?  Ensuring a clear change purpose at the outset is second nature.  So what is changing?  Maybe it's just me, but I'm encountering a growing demand from those on the front line that we don't just tell them what's in it for them, but that we articulate for them clearly and honestly why the organisation is making the change.  I've had front line workers telling me the change just won't be successful without that.  They want to be treated as adults - and that's not a surprise.

P number three - Person.  I blogged here about how change leadership can learn from therapy.  This simply feels like it's getting increasingly important - as with therapy, as with any leadership, the character of the person looking to enable change matters.  Therapy says it's empathy, integrity and unconditional positive regard that drives change: what would happen if those words cropped up more often in Change Leadership role descriptions?

The fourth P?  Pushing for participation, tell me what you think.

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