Lost In Translation – Change Navigation

10th May, 2024

Change management or change leadership… surely the latter is more “sexy”?  To be a “Leader of change” has a certain ring to it that a “Change process manager” doesn’t quite match.

And yet to effectively “instigate, enable and facilitate” change… one without the other is almost certain to lead to a loss in translation… and so perhaps Change Navigation is a better term.

Imagine you have a great idea – not hard to imagine since you are, of course, an excellent leader!  You motivate your team and they’d follow you anywhere.  They love you and they get behind your visionary genius whichever direction your company moves in.  They describe you as inspirational and enthusiastically desire to bring your concepts to fruition.

But herein lies the rub….

As your business grows there are more and more opportunities for your message to be diluted or the application of your ideas in practice to “not quite” match your initial aspirations.

No matter how awesome your team are, without clear communication and an element of systems thinking the most epic of changes can lose its edge by the time the individual, business or environment experiences the impact of your desired change.

The good news is this…  With any significant change effort, some of the smallest changes to the approach you are taking can lead to the largest impact.

Clarity is a minimum expectation: How are you communicating in and around the change?  Enough, too little, too much, are you being clear about aspirations and reasonable in your expectations?

Who owns the Change? Are you inviting the insights of others and if so are you prepared to act on them?  Be honest about which elements of the change are flexible and which are less negotiable. Ask your team for their input only where you are prepared to take it on board and potentially act on it.  Be clear, are you consulting or informing, who is accountable for what, and where do responsibilities lie?

Processes should Simplify: Are you making it as easy as possible for your team to bring your ideas to life and if not what systems and processes will help – conversely which processes are redundant and adding no value to the end game whatsoever? Be ruthless when it comes to unnecessary complexity.

One Team: Internal competition can be a distraction, and siloed thinking creates inertia and noise on the line.  Healthy relationships and shared awareness of the ripple effect of actions within an organisation support creative problem solving and streamlining.

And finally, consider… is every individual within the change chain considering both the vision and the end user / client?  Remember balancing quality, cost and time relies on awareness of the stakeholders and service/product users.  If your team are losing sight of the vision or the client (or both), ask… what is required to enable them to re-orientate, navigate the disconnect and re-gain perspective.

About Lizzi Larbalestier

Professional Blue Health Coach, mBIT and NLP trainer specialising in coastal coaching. Creating meaningful conversations, facilitating action and change for the results that you deserve. #bluehealthcoach #oceanempathy #bluemind