Because leadership is charged with bringing new ideas, methods, or solutions into use, innovation is mutually connected with the process of being an effective leader. Innovation means change, and change requires leadership. As a leader, you must be the Director of Transformation in your organization and learn everything there is to know about the change before it even takes place. Furthermore, you must learn how to deal with the emotions that result from the chaos and fear associated with change. Putting new processes in place is not enough—the people supporting these processes must be motivated to meet the challenge and support the change. To do this, it is important you maintain a balance between a clear understanding of the present and a clear focus on the future.
Your first act is to create an organizational climate favorable to change by explaining the limitations and shortfalls of the present process and the possibilities and benefits of the proposed change. Your second act should be to facilitate the change itself. Walk the employees through the change, explain the details and answer questions. Finally, you should reward those who comply with the change and refocus those who do not. Realistic optimism and determination is the best quality you can demonstrate when coping with change.
When dealing with change leaders should:
· Be open-minded and experiment with alternatives.
· Involve people affected in the change process.
· Fully explain the reason for change.
· Create enthusiasm for the change.
· Facilitate change…don’t force it.
· Seek out and accept criticism.
· View change positively.
· Never get complacent.
Identify what you are doing well in terms of managing change.
Reward the people who are actively supporting the change.
Now, identify what you could do better and preapre a plan for successful change.
Source: Air Force Professional Development Guide