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5 Ways To Empower And Engage Employees To Lead Change

Article from Brent Gleeson on Forbes.com

One of the most important and inevitable obstacles any company faces multiple times throughout its life cycle is the need for change. Organizational transformation requires empowerment and participation at all levels. I have been writing a series of articles on leading culture-enabled organizational transformation. Much of my philosophies on this subject are derived from learnings on the battlefield as a Navy SEAL, and in the boardroom as an entrepreneur. There are three phases to my transformation model, each with several components: building the change culture, preparing for the change battle and winning the change fight.

Once a company is well-prepared for change and high levels of trust and accountability have been woven into the fabric of the organization’s culture, only then can they start preparing for the change battle. Behaviors and mindsets must adapt and a plan of attack developed and communicated. The first phase of winning the change fight is to empower the team and enlist as much participation as possible at all levels.

As I thought about the title for this article I initially had reservations about using the faddish term “empower.” While I normally try to stay away from overused business buzz words, I do think that in today’s ever-changing and more complex business environment that giving a broader range of people more power to drive organizational change is tantamount to success. Inspiring the team is one thing, but physically and psychologically giving them more autonomy to participate in the transformation process is critical.

My experiences within my companies, companies I have consulted with and every case study I have seen points to the fact that a lack of focus on inclusion is one of the core reasons transformation efforts fail.

On the battlefield, mission success relies on the participation of everyone, from the frontline troops all the way to the top. The same applies in business success, especially during times of change.

So let’s avoid this pitfall and talk about how to better empower employees to take ownership and effect positive and lasting organizational change.

Brent sums up 5 elements:

  1. Communicating A Powerful Change Vision
  2. Aligning Systems And Structures To The Vision
  3. Providing Training For The New Systems And Structures
  4. Handle The Anti-Change Agents
  5. Actually Give The Team Ownership Over Specific Projects

Read the whole article and watch the video on Forbes.com

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