Leading change with #wol: #wolweek

Working out loud can be an agent of change. Leaders can leverage working out loud to make change.

Here’s a story I heard last week of a leader using working out loud for change. Unfortunately I need to make the story anonymous which robs it of a little detail.

A new leader took over a team with average performance. Halfway through his first conversation with the team he realised they weren’t receptive to his introduction of the changes of a new leader’s agenda.

So midway through the first team talk, his strategy changed. The leader transparently outlined the team’s strengths and weaknesses and how they contributed to performance. Importantly he led with his own performance pointing out how he needed the help of other’s in the team to address gaps in his own skills and approaches. The team was paired up to balance out strengths and weaknesses and enable shared learning.

In the first year, using this approach, results doubled. Suddenly an average team was performing well. After four years of openness, collaboration and shared learning, the team has energy, new approaches and on track for best in industry performance within five years.

The results that have been achieved engaged the team in the value of new approaches. Because people felt supported to change, they came up with a new vision for the team, new ways of working and new energy. Working and sharing learning together helped accelerate change.

Leaders can use working out loud to drive change. They need to start by being transparent and open on their own needs to learn, to grow and to collaborate. The results and engagement from working out loud are worth the effort.

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