What do I mean by Involving?
My previous Change Capability dimension, Executing, was about change leaders taking control when necessary. My sixth Change Capability dimension, involving, means knowing when to give control to others and allow them to take responsibility.
Involving is about giving employees the opportunity to influence the decisions that affect them, empowering them formally (though decision making processes) and informally, through ‘coaching’ line managers. It is also about providing the opportunity for people to develop and grow through change.
How is this Change Capability manifested?
People that are involved in the implementation of change:
- Are able to exercise professional discretion and autonomy to make decisions
- Are disciplined and determined to deliver
- Are confident and resilient in overcoming difficulties; including escalating where required
People that are impacted by the change:
- Feel that their views have been listened and expertise recognised
- Have the opportunity to influence the decisions that affect them
- Feel proud when the change / organisation is a success
How is the capability supported?
As with all of the capability dimensions, this is not an exhaustive list but Involvement is supported by:
- Talent Management: Leaders understand their bench strength, value expertise, and are willing to create developmental opportunities through change
- Engagement: Gathering and distil the views of a diverse group of employees and stakeholders to ensure that people feel that they have been heard, as well as actively involving smaller groups in decision making processes
- Coaching: An essential skill, but also a mindset, for line managers to encourage and empower direct reports to exercise discretion and take personal responsibility
What happens if you overplay this strength?
Without balance, strengths can become weaknesses. Over-focusing on Involving can occur in two ways:
- Dithering: Progress is delayed or decisions are watered down through compromise because a consensus is required before any decisions can be made
- Drowning: Too much power and control is delegated, perhaps without adequate support, and people can feel overwhelmed by the decisions or responsibilities that they are given