What do I mean by Connecting?
My 8th and final Change Capability dimension, Connecting, relates to the identification of individuals with something greater than themselves – the team, the organisation, the change..
Unlike the 7th dimension, Caring, where the needs of the individual come first, employees identify with the wider needs of the organisation, and are prepared to act as one in support of change for the greater good. This strongly relates to loyalty, collaboration, customer-centricity and teamwork, and relationships matter.
How is this Change Capability manifested?
People that are involved in the implementation of change:
- Are proactive in developing collaborative relationships with stakeholders
- Model support for the vision and strategy as representing the common good
- Foster connections between different groups or individuals to help break down silos
People that are impacted by the change:
- Put their concerns to one side and support change for the greater good
- Work across boundaries in support of change
- Look out for their colleagues and provide social support during difficult times
How is the capability supported?
As with all of the capability dimensions, this is not an exhaustive list but Connecting is supported by:
- Role Modelling: Lead by example in visibly breaking down silos/barriers and providing support to other teams or departments
- Collaboration: Processes and tools support online and offline knowledge sharing and working across team or departmental boundaries
- Communication: ‘Other’ orientation is often underplayed in favour of ‘WIIFM’ – emphasise that where decisions benefit colleagues, the organisation, customers and wider society
What happens if you overplay this strength?
Without balance, strengths can become weaknesses. Over-focusing on Connecting can occur in two ways:
- Cosying: Relationships are all important, but not grounded in the overarching business or professional context and therefore too cosy to get results
- Deferring: Individuals over-identify with the needs of others/the organisation and put their own needs last to an unsustainable or unhealthy degree