Monday, January 14, 2013

Transformation - Saying It Is the Easy Part

I've been doing a lot of thinking about transformational leadership and what role Human Resources should play when an organization is committed to undergoing change in a meaningful way.

Is HR there to pick up the pieces as leaders begin to quiver and shake at the slightest hint of a required change?

Does HR move through the process along with the others who are impacted by new expectations, new goals, and ultimately a new and more effective corporate culture?

Or do we take the lead and actually drive the change necessary in spite of the wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth?

Answer = yes, yes, and yes.

Transformation is a Team Sport
Last time I checked, HR is not only (supposed to be) a driver of change, but is also an active and engaged part of every organization. So whether or not we are making change happen or feel swept up in it, we are going to experience a range of emotions. The bottom line is that we have an opportunity to make an impact.

Let me say that again.

HR has an opportunity to make an impact. How many leaders do you know that can honestly say that? I'm talking about an impact on the institution, not just a process change here or a staffing change there.

"Institutional change. That's big, and we should be sprinting toward these opportunities, not scrambling to look up some inane policy or call 1-800-HR-IS-LAME to try to avoid delivering on our company's needs. It's our time."

When we're asked to drive change, we need to realize that we're not being asked to come up with a solution. Instead, we're being relied upon to leverage our internal networks, the trust we've developed with our colleagues, and our ability to push through without taking things personally. We need to help the whole team discover their strengths, weaknesses, and the long list of challenges we all have to deal with that don't fall neatly in to "good" and "bad" buckets.

Where to Begin?
Transformation can impact many areas: processes, technology, work product, delivery of services, and the list goes on. The reality is that transformation starts and ends with people.  Engaging those impacted by a vision, a new expectation, a new goal, whatever it may be; it is the people that will ultimately drive the results of the change effort.

Start with the people. The rest will flow once the team is on board.

How About You
What changes are you involved with? Are they on the level of transformational change? If so, what are you doing to connect with your networks to ensure that your time, energy, and ultimately your organization's efforts are not wasted?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

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