The role of leadership in change management 

Leadership communication is a key ingredient to ensuring a project is successful. Leaders play a vital role in any change management project. Organisational leaders are the ones that employees look to, day after day, for direction, support, and cues on where they need to direct their efforts.

The role of leadership in change management requires that they help people buy into the organisation’s vision. This type of communication needs to happen consistently, no matter if it is the humdrum, day-to-day issues or more profound change programs.  Leaders need to ensure that the message is clear and consistent. Not all leaders are natural change agents. The optimal change leadership model is to have the change management team communicate and coach the leadership through change, and then those leaders will coach the employees they lead through the change.

Why change fail

According to an article on Meliorate, organisational change leadership is vital for project success. Two of the main causes of change project failure have to do directly with the roles of leadership in change management.

The key reasons for a change project to fail are:

  • Employee resistance to change (39%)
  • Lack of support for the change from management/leadership (33%)
  • Inadequate resources or budget (14%)
  • Other obstacles (14%)

Leaders need to be visible

The most vital role a leader can play in the change management journey is the visibility of their support as this inspires others to invest and engage in the change programme. Transformational leadership is the best style during change as it emphasizes change and transformation. Leaders with this approach strive to inspire their teams to achieve more than they ever thought possible by tapping into their individual potential.

Communication and leadership

Leaders need to establish spot-on and personable communication.  If they fail to put themselves in the shoes of their employees and do not provide the context of the change that is about to happen, this can result in employees worrying if they are going to be asked to leave the company.  

 Leadership support

The importance of leadership through change cannot be stated enough. Getting the support and assistance of organisational leaders to help guide their teams through a change project can mean the difference between success and failure. Change leadership is perhaps one of the most important components of any change management project because leadership has the best chance at addressing and resolving employee resistance, the main cause of change project failure.

#changemanagement #changecommunication #changeleadership

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