When leading change, it is important to differentiate between things that should be changed and those which should be left alone.
Before you take the old plaques, photos and vision statements off the wall and throw them away, think about whether they are really in need of a total revamp or if they still encapsulate the vision and values of the organization. Have they helped or hindered the organization in its development and in what ways are they relevant to the future?
As a leader, take some time to appreciate those who have come before you, speak well of their impact and look for the things that they valued which have helped the organization to grow. Don’t encourage a culture which criticises those from the past who aren’t even there to defend themselves, otherwise it may be you they will be speaking of in the future.
Effective leadership requires a balance of keeping and changing.
- Don’t feel that you should change things to establish your leadership stamp.
- Don’t feel that you should keep things so that you are accepted by the team.
- Always have well thought-out reasons for the changes that you wish to make.
- Remember the old expression ” If something ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
In the process of change, some of the “old ways” can be preserved in the bigger scheme of things.
Think about the effect of your personality on change. I am a “throw it out and make a fresh start” sort of person, so I need to be careful that I don’t push too hard for too much change. Others who tend to keep things need to watch out that they don’t get stuck in the past.
Remember that you are not perfect. Some of the changes that you will implement will be brilliant, while others will be total disasters. In humility accept praise for the successes and, with courage, admit mistakes.
What are the things in your organization that should be kept?
What are the things in your organization that should be changed?