But leaders should remember that change is a mindset that must be nurtured from infancy to adulthood. You can't run until you can walk, and you can't walk until you can crawl. No different than raising a child, change must be reared with patience and encouragement as well as guidance and teaching.
If change is to become the constant for your organization, the leader must create the conditional actions for transformation to thrive: trusting, thinking, teaching and triumphing.
Does your organization have the 4 T's?
Because the leader has established a culture of trust, people within the organization understand that trusting one another is essential to change. Trust isn't built overnight, and it can be decimated in a day; therefore, organizations must regard trust as a fragile yet powerful component, and they must maintain it like a garden. Trust is essentially the health needed to move the organization forward.
All people in an organization think about something, but thinking within a transformational organization is extremely concentrated. Thinking about the organization's mission forces all to be focused on purposeful steps necessary to make change a reality. All people within this organization of excellence reflect critically on their own work and determine how to better improve the organization through their work. Thinking is not a sometime thing. It's an all the time thing, and transformational people are constantly thinking about their work and its impact on the end product.
Transformation is about growth, and growth can't occur unless someone is teaching others. Throughout the organization, training and cross training are not appendages of the organization but the heartbeat of the organization. To truly be a transformational organization, teaching is not the leader's responsibility but everyone's responsibility. If people want the organization to grow and prosper, everyone must recognize their own personal strengths and share their strengths with everyone else.
Transformation is not about growing by leaps and bounds but growing inch by inch. Transformational organizations look for the inch and celebrate the triumphs along the way. Celebration again is not just the leader's responsibility but everyone's responsibility. Everyone looks for the gains, and they seize the opportunity to initiate celebration. Celebration is the fuel of growth, and transformational organizations celebrate like its 1999.
Putting the 'S' in the 4 Ts - Sustaining
The final responsibility of a transformational organization has nothing to do with change. It has everything to do with sustaining the change. Change cannot be sustained as long as the leader owns and directs the change. Sustainability requires leaders to hand over ownership to those that it impacts, so they can find the next change that must be initiated. That is what we call empowerment. If followers are empowered to own the change, it will be sustained, and that is when change truly becomes transformational.