Moving your organization as well as your business to Cloud......Leading through the change
Many discussions of migrating to the cloud center around the gains in speed, agility, flexibility and the like. These certainly can all be benefits that can be achieved but as a leader another dimension must be taken into account, change management. Cloud rapidly accelerates the rate of change in an organization and brings with it new challenges. In today’s business, most if not all leaders enjoy the benefits of an integrated team of stakeholders consisting of members at various points in their career and with varying tolerances for rapid change. This rich mix can bring great value allowing innovation with experience and perspective. Seasoned leaders know how to balance the enthusiasm with practicality and affect change in a positive manner. The following are some of the thoughts on managing change we have picked up from successful leaders.
- Paint the picture – Some of the best sales people I have ever interacted with were not sales people at all, they were story tellers. They have a knack to paint a picture of what the future will look like and bring you into it personally. This familiarity reduces uncertainty associated with change. You will need to tell this story many times for some people. Be sure to always bring it back to the overall goal that people can get emotionally invested in.
- Let the team lead the way – It is easy as a leader to tell people what to do, it is more effective to set a vision and let the team chart the way. The more people own the ideas, process and end product the more ownership and pride they will have in the result.
- Celebrate along the way – Set some small hurdles up front to build momentum. Celebrate and communicate accomplishments. Don’t be disingenuous, enjoy the experience and help your team enjoy it as well. Your enthusiasm will be contagious. Everyone wants to be on a winning team.
- Communicate often and simply – Change brings uncertainty in many people. Frequent communication on what is and what is not going well is important. Keep your messaging focused on a minimum number of topics. Complicated status reports will not be easily consumed and your message can be lost. It is better to have more frequent targeted communication. Make sure to always show a path to the future even if there are issues to be communicated. The team will look to you for stability and strength. They will watch how and what you say and act in every interaction.
- Watch for stress – Every person handles stress in their own way. As a leader it is important that you help the team watch each other for signs of stress and provide the support needed to help the individual through the process. Even though there may be a lot of individual tasks that isolate people, you must build formal and informal teams to keep everyone engaged and feel included.
These are exciting times in our industry to be a leader. The cloud brings more stakeholders to the forefront when deploying cloud solutions. Managing change in this diverse environment requires a leader to dust off and employ all of their skills.