Steering a company through change is a big job. Luckily, it’s not an undertaking you should have to pursue alone. Create ambassadors for that change and you won’t be shouldering your vision alone.
In any organization there will always be those who are more open to change than their peers. These are people who are early adapters, who see your vision and are eager to be part of the transition. These people are often your strongest allies when guiding your organization through a transition. They may not be leaders in name—not yet, anyway—but if you can identify them early, they may have an important part to play.
When rolling out change, keep an eye out for people who have bought into the idea early. Get them to help sell the process. Even consider formalizing their role and having them speak to those team members who are having problems accepting change.
Team members learn a tremendous amount from their colleagues, and the message will gain extra credibility when it’s coming from a peer.
Take this opportunity to identify emerging leaders in your organization. Your new ambassadors will be especially effective if you tap into informal leadership networks and identify those employees who are already seen as a natural leader among their peers.
But while this may have started as a way to pave the way for change, identifying gifted leaders who you can begin to develop is always a valuable leadership skill. Create a development plan for these individuals and map out ways for them to work on their leadership and communication skills.
Dealing with change is hard enough, so don’t try to do it all yourself. An effective leader is one who knows how to make use of the rest of the team. As a leader, take this opportunity to identify the forward thinkers within the organization and challenge yourself to help develop their abilities.
That way, not only will your organization weather change more smoothly but it also have more skilled members to show for it.