This may sound like a stock phrase, but it’s true. Companies that are genuinely committed to transforming their business are either hiring transformational leaders – or investing in the development of their own senior leadership teams to drive those changes through.
Take this particular scenario. A business has completed a diagnostic review – a health check of their company – which leads to a big change agenda it wants to push forward. On the one hand, the review has presented them with exciting opportunities to grow and shape its future success. On the other, it presents them with some complex challenges. Who is going to take charge of this big change agenda? What do they need to know and what do they need to do – to successfully bring about this transformation and be able to sustain it?
In my experience, a business usually has a crystal-clear plan of the changes they want to see. The drawback is this. Their leaders, managers and teams don’t know about it. They don’t understand why the changes are happening or, the crucial role they’ll play in delivering them. This is counterproductive to the business because it creates strong barriers – leading to fear and resistance and a lack of commitment and ownership. Change is hard work for our brains – so, when we see it go pear-shaped, these behaviours are usually a major factor. The behaviours from the past and present are unlikely to be the behaviours that will transform the future. The needs of the business are not technical issues – but instead, consistent approaches to behaviours which are highly visible and felt by the entire workforce.
So, how do you share the business expectations and develop people to support this journey? For the last four years, we’ve been guiding our clients through our leadership performance and development workshops – which focus on the Why, What and How of transformative health and safety practices. The Plan, Do, Check and Act framework used to bring structure. But in these workshops, we ask the question – ‘if these are the correct topics, what are your behaviours to address them’? We focus sharply on how health and safety is adopted as a business value – and which people can live by, through Vision and Strategy. Being an effective leader or manager for health and safety, is exactly the same skill set as being an effective leader or manager, in terms of your production and commercial needs.
People are the critical ingredient in any business. That’s why transformational leaders are sought after. We work with leaders to help them recognise the part they play in the bigger picture along with their managers and teams, by looking at where health and safety fits into their organisation. We open up the conversation around behaviours – especially those that will drive the business forward, for example, creating an inspiring vision and helping employees to visualise the future. Clearly and consistently communicating our change agenda to employees. Understanding the importance of being visible and accessible. Building trust-based relationships. Engaging and connecting with employees to provoke new ways of working. It’s these behaviours that will boost the odds of achieving success – as well as more and more ‘safe by choice’ days.
As a business leader, ‘all eyes and ears will be on you’ – so it’s vital that you’re seen and heard giving your time and commitment to the changes you’ve asked for. If your ‘followers’ can’t see you leading the way, they are likely to hold the view that these changes are not that important – and this will show up in their behaviour. Success comes when people are able to recognise and reflect on what they’ve done well and the impact their personal contribution has made, and continues to make, to the business. This is when you know you’ve set the wheels of transformational change in motion.
Our leadership performance and development workshops are successfully delivered all around the globe. To find out more, please get in touch with the Broadhead Global team.
+44 (0) 1664 503655