The word “Transformation” is normally reserved for fundamental change, in contrast to the more transactional “transition” and 101 other variants. Whilst transformation often involves a change to processes, organisations and systems, the one essential is that hearts and minds must change for the objective to be attained.
A programme that I have recently led found itself using belief as an increasingly conscious element of leadership at multiple levels:
- The sponsor – to establish the direction, boundaries and imperatives for change in her own mind and to communicate this with conviction to colleagues and the programme team
- The principal daily contact – to establish a plan that did what was necessary and nothing that was redundant. Establish an understanding that the people side did need to be addressed to gain the operational outcomes sought.
- The programme delivery team – used belief to focus on the outcomes that were sought, and to navigate turbulent waters with clarity. The plan supported this and was a flexible aid to measuring progress rather than a rule-book by which we lived.
- The wider stakeholder group – developed belief in the aims, outcomes and methods. They saw the power of conviction from the sponsor and quickly realised that they could and should join in and that this was to their advantage.
Belief grows over time when nurtured appropriately. Although a soft aspect of change, it is immensely powerful in aligning communities towards a shared objective. This is not goofy optimism that things will get better, it is action aligned to rational expectation. As such, belief is a carrier of strategic intent to those who must change if objectives are to be attained.
Where does its management appear on your project plan?