If we could analyze the processes at successful businesses, chances are we’d find a symbiotic relationship between change management and change leadership. Both elements must be present not only to be productive but also to move an organization successfully forward. If management dominates leadership, a company may be productive, but experience limited to no growth. With only leadership but limited management, a company will have a great vision but never produce anything other than chaos. Therefore, management and leadership, done right, must be interdependent.
However, the problem is that most companies are over-managed and under-led in today’s fast-changing business culture by almost 4-1. It’s easy to do. Management is the default setting of the brain. When production is high and systems run smoothly, it can translate into success. But, if there’s an inability to change and adapt quickly, which is necessary in a highly competitive world, chances are, there’s a lack of change leadership.
At heart, management is coping with complexity making things efficient and repeatable. On the other hand, leadership is urgent and empowers speculative action driven by good but unproven ideas. By understanding both management and leadership’s qualities and considerations, one can more easily understand how they need each other and how they need to remain balanced.
Management creates plans and budgets to produce predictable and reliable outcomes within a company. Management fosters order, defined roles, and smooth systems but doesn’t foster change, vision, or innovation. Though not as predictable or systematic, setting a future direction is the essential task of change leadership. Change becomes a reality by creating and communicating vision and strategy, getting buy-in, removing barriers, building relationships and alignment, and utilizing the strengths of all team members.
Management reinforces predictable, reliable systems by fitting an individual to a specific job or role. This person has particular skills that will produce a required body of work to keep in line with the expectations of the job. However, change leadership doesn’t look to fill roles but to inspire individuals to the vision. It’s essentially communicating an alternative future and getting buy-in and action based on that vision. This requires a change leader, not a change manager.
Managers create systems for employees to follow, making jobs repeatable and predictable. But, for change and innovation to occur, leaders must strive to inspire people at their head and heart levels. Change and new directions become easier when people feel a sense of belonging, buy into the vision, and are valuable team members.
Finding the balance between management and leadership can be a challenging task. But knowing what to look for and seizing the opportunities change creates is what we do. So, get in touch today to lead your organization better.