HOW TO: Align your leadership team
You usually won’t lead a restructure single-handedly. You’ll create a core team around you, and it’s important that you’re all singing from the same book and aligned to create a consistent and comprehensive change message and approach. But how do you make this happen?
I'm Lata Hamilton, the Founder and Head Coach of Passion Pioneers. I'm an accredited Change Manager, NLP Practitioner, and Career Change Coach. And this is the sixth article in our 15-part Reimagine Restructures Blog Series. So here’s three tips on how to align your lead restructuring team around a common purpose.
Lead restructuring team
Restructures are probably one of the most complex organisational changes that you'll ever lead in your company. And no matter how good a business leader you are, nine times out of ten, you are going to have a team that you actually work with, to help plan it, and implement it, and make it happen. This is what I'm going to call a "lead restructuring team" - it's basically like your project team for the restructure.
And it might include:
Senior leaders / senior managers within your organisation, within your company, within your department, or within your team
HR Partners / HR Leaders
External suppliers or consultants who are helping you to do analysis and strategy
Change Managers helping with planning and rollout
So today I have three ideas to help get your lead restructuring team aligned around a common purpose to present a united front to your people, the people who are actually going to be impacted by your restructure.
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IDEA #1: Build consensus early
So the first tip is to get agreement upfront with your lead restructuring team. This is consensus that, no matter what, you are going to get the best outcome for a particular group. And you might need to decide with your lead restructuring team who that group is - what is the strategic imperative?
Is it your focus and your priority to get the best outcome for the customer?
Is it to get the best outcome for your shareholders?
Is it to get the best outcome for your people?
It doesn't mean that you're going to leave the other groups by the wayside. But it's really about having a bee-line focus to the outcome and committing as a group together that #1 key group of stakeholders is going to get the best experience and the best outcomes through this process.
IDEA #2: Find a common purpose
I use a “purpose exercise” all the time in coaching and corporate advisory. When I'm running team visioning, when I'm working with teams or departments on different types of change and there isn't a clarity around the strategy, or around why something is happening, or what the benefits of a particular change might be.
It's an NLP technique and the idea is to take the group through an exercise of “chunking up” to the highest intention and/or the highest purpose, such as "Communication", "Connection", "Experience", "Value", "Happiness".
And the reason why it's so powerful is:
Getting everybody up to that high level means that there's a sense of agreement and consensus amongst everybody.
Doing it as a group means you share the process together and work with each other to build a common group consensus.
It’s the crux of any kind of team vision, and it's the crux of any kind of organisational change. Benefits are so important - it's the "Why?" that you want to get people behind. So your lead restructuring team needs that too.
IDEA #3: Get commitment
Then come back together and actually commit to this! Commit to leading your restructure in a particular way. As a group, determine what is the style and the approach, and also what's the experience that you want them to have. So each individual person might have something individual that they want to commit to, how they want to show up, how they want to be part of this particular project, and be bringing this particular value or this particular quality into this project.
For some people it might be "Leadership", for other people it might be around "Communication": "I want to be a really fantastic communicator as part of this project." Because you've already done the purpose and intention exercise at a group level, this next level down starts to get people individually buying into and individually committing to delivering this particular change in a particular way. Together you’ll get a beautiful diversity of value that different people are going to bring.
A team is only valuable when its aligned to a common purpose, so start off on the right foot and get your lead restructuring team singing the same tune.
Lata Hamilton is the Founder and Head Coach of Passion Pioneers. To find out how we can help your team through your next restructure, operating model change, or transformation, contact us via our website: www.passionpioneers.com.au