Leaders in every organization are in a constant struggle to steer their people in a direction that will better fulfill their mission and grow their business. In a more concrete sense, this effort can mean introducing new technologies, creating new departments, restructuring existing departments, introducing new processes, serving new markets, and so on. In all of these cases, the companies experience the growing pains of change -- and the manner in which the leader handles this friction will determine how smoothly the transition goes.
The problem with the way many leaders handle change in organizations is that they don't lead their employees through the transitions; they drag them. Oftentimes, the employees don't want to change and it's the job of the leader to force them to do so. In my opinion, though, this approach is completely backwards. If we want change to go smoothly, we've got to get buy-in from our team before we even consider it.
Ideally, leaders who want to successfully implement change, will involve their employees in the decision process from the beginning. Rather than simply deciding on a new technology or a new process, why not take a poll to see whether or not employees would see the benefits in the change? If it isn't feasible to involve employees in the decision process, though, we can at least take the time to explain the benefits to them after the decision has been made. As leaders, it is our responsibility not only to get our people to make necessary changes but also to convince them that those changes are also in their best interests. How do you get your people to buy into change?