Leading change is one of the top core leadership competencies that is honored in successful businesses large and small. There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle than to initiate a new order of things.
When we are leading change, we are leading reform. There is always a large group who profits from keeping the old order. They are quite certain in their stance. Then there are those who see the need for change and who could profit by the new order. Yet they are only lukewarm to it.
How come? Most individuals do not believe in anything new until they have had actual experience with it. We are wired to resist random change for we fear the possible random consequence of being declared irrelevant and let go. We are wired, first and foremost to survive, so we hang on to what has worked in the past.
The challenge in leading change is to get those who are resistant open to it. And to get those who are lukewarm, enthusiastic about it. Then we can start to build some momentum for lasting change. If we are always embarking on change but the change is not lasting, the cost can be catastrophic.
All successful change starts with breaking through the mental walls in the brain. These mental walls are built on the notions of what success has signified in the past and in the present. To successfully lead change, the leader or leaders must find ways to break through these brain walls.
The first step to breaking the mental wall to change in individuals within an organization is for them to see the benefits of change. They have to see the benefits of change and how they are going to fit into it successfully.
To do this, the leader has to repeatedly, using different methodologies to create the message of change, reinforce the change to where people see it clearly. Having individuals see change clearly is the first step to overcoming the mental walls and start on a successful path to change.