Was there ever a time that was more uncertain than today? Are leaders prepared to manage change in ways that strengthen the teams around them?

Leadership is about taking the initiative to do the things others would rather avoid doing – and about allowing risk to be your best friend. Leaders make those around them better by being wise enough to anticipate the unexpected and by being accountable to take action all the way through to the end. They know how to help their teams tackle change head-on and remove the fear-factor from their minds. They do this by creating environments that embrace clarity around the issues, collaboration to produce new ideas, and strategic focus. They build solid ecosystems where thinking courageously and challenging the old ways of doing things create competitive advantage.

As many companies enter 2015 in full-blown transformation mode, the value of leadership lies within the outcomes of reinventing the ways teams think, act and innovate.  Leaders must become change agents and must teach their teams to do the same to assure circumstances don’t force their hand and to create and sustain the required momentum to win.

Leaders must maximize the performance of their teams, but doing so without disruption during times of uncertainty can be a challenge. Yet, it’s not impossible. Here are five things effective leaders teach their teams to prepare for and manage change:

 1.  Clarity of the Issues
Teams learn how to embrace change when leaders take the time to clarify the issues at hand. This requires leaders to make sure their teams understand the changes they are faced with – and what they potentially mean to the organization, its supply chain, and its clients.

2. Embrace Diversity of Thought
True collaboration means embracing diversity of thought, and the different ways people think, act and innovate. Collaboration is just an overused word when the intention behind the action is not fully leveraged. Collaboration done rightly means not just working closely with and learning from each other – but cultivating a treasure hunt of ideas and ideals.   Great teams know how to collaborate not only amongst themselves, but with other teams as well.

3. Strengthen Your Ecosystem
Ecosystems are created to help transform organizations, change the status quo and lead new paradigms. Leading the development of organizational ecosystems requires a deep understanding of what each team brings to the table – the value they can contribute, their willingness to learn, the desire to reach a higher level of performance through the sharing of best practices, etc. – all for the betterment of a healthier whole.

4. Create Competitive Advantage
With an environment that embraces clarity around the issues, collaboration to produce new ideas, strategic focus to build solid ecosystems that challenge the old ways of doing things – teams are now ready to create competitive advantage. Creating competitive advantage means more than teams making the ecosystem that they are assigned to stronger – it means creating distinction for themselves throughout the organization at-large. Leaders must view their department and/or functional areas as “mini-organizations” within the organization – especially after experiencing the role the team played in strengthening the ecosystem.

5.Encourage Critical and Strategic Thinking
We all recognize that we must create a strategy for change. Most teams don’t take enough time to define their strategy, since this is the basis for accountability.   Unfortunately, many teams fall into the trap of wanting to be accountable more for what others want them to be, rather than what they seek to be themselves.

 

Now is a good time for leaders to strengthen and prepare their teams for the changes ahead in the New Year, whatever they may be. The strongest teams are those where different points of view – diversity of thought – converge and are given free expression. Where there is clarity of the issues, a real collaborative spirit, and the leadership to think courageous, you will find sound ecosystems designed to create competitive advantage and prepared for change during the best and worst of times.

 

Read the full article from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2014/12/18/5-ways-leaders-strengthen-and-prepare-their-teams-for-change/4/#4d1fa7c46b0b

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