Transformational change is a group project.
Leaders have a critical role in the change process. They chart the course, launch innovations, inspire action, and coordinate their group with developments in the larger organization. And more.
Another vital role for a responsive leader is generating buy-in from group members. There are good reasons why this role is so important.
First, commitment to core values motivates engaged employees. Their work is much more than an occupation; it provides opportunities to furthering ideals, activities, and qualities that matter to them. Leaders need to demonstrate how a new initiative aligns with those core values.
Second, buy-in produces resonance. Leaders can’t be everywhere at once. Team members have much more contact with co-workers than with their immediate managers on a day-to-day basis. In effective change initiative, those interactions among colleagues confirm the value of the team’s new direction.
Third, colleagues have their own distinct credibility. To some extent leaders, such as first-line managers, derive their influence from the legitimate power inherent in their positions. Colleagues derive their influence from their expertise as fellow members of a profession or through their personal qualities as friends. Collegial support helps to confirm that a new initiative contributes something of value to the team’s core mission; it’s not just another management fad.
When we launch a CREW project, we help leaders to inspire commitment among their team members. Our primary strategies are (1) clear communication, (2) linking civility to the team’s core values, and (3) acknowledging the critical role of team members to CREW’s success.
Inspiring commitment begins early and continues throughout any change initiative.
What are the core buy-in issues for your team?