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  • Writer's picturePhil Cole

Organizational change is the intersection between vision and relationships.

HBR had a great article about organizational change strategies. You can read it here.

The reason these strategies are effective is because they capture the intersection between vision and relationships. Remember, vision doesn’t come from you alone - it’s a shared process in which you and other participants create a common understanding. Your contribution is not just the organizational change, but also managing the process of deciding on what and how that change will occur. If you do it right, other participants (employees, coworkers, external stakeholders, even higher-ups) will be involved in a way that makes them co-owners of the change.

With that understanding, take HBR’s suggestions with a grain of salt. As I always say, any specific tactic is always situational. Your organization, your leadership challenge, your team, your change: these things are specific to you - and it will require you select strategies from the entire range, not just pick something from a list. You need to evaluate your vision/change as it emerges, the people who will be involved as you decide how broad the change will be, and the specific tactics you use as people respond over time. Constantly assessing and adjusting what you do (first core - process of learning) will help you find the tactics that work for you.

The lesson from this, beyond just the tactical ideas and the advice to be aware of your situation, is that understanding the definition of leadership helps you situate your decision making and explain why certain things work. When you can step back, you can see that there aren’t concrete answers, but rather concrete factors that you have to find ways to connect - the three cores. The definition gives you the stability and “place to start” you need to make decisions when there aren’t any right or wrong answers.

Leadership is complex, but it isn’t complicated.

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