The KISS For Leading Change

The KISS For Leading Change

Organisational Change is hard. Isn’t it? 60-70% of organisational change fails, and that statistic is rising as we are impacted more and more by the VUCA environment we operate in. The costs of the failure of change …. well we’ve all felt them.

So how do we lead change effectively? There are so many factors involved.

I remember the first time I was leading a really significant change, a big restructure that was going to impact hundreds of people. It was challenging. It was complicated. It was messy. And I was feeling just a bit overwhelmed because there was so much to do and so many people to be responsible for, to do the right thing for, while keeping the business as usual operations going.

In a conversation with my boss, where I was focused on the ‘so much to do’ and all of the details that went with that, my boss gave me a little bit of advice. He said:

“Your role as the leader of this change is really simple. It is to lead.”

•You need to be clear about your vision.
•Figure out what it is that you have to do to deliver the vision.
•Determine what competencies you need to get it done.
•Get the right people into the right roles
•And then have the courage to lead them.”

Easy right?- Actually, it was much easier.

Now I’ve added a little bit of my own learning to this over the years but this advice was 15 years ago and I still think it’s pretty sound. It’s kept me focused on leading the change, rather than trying to do everything myself.

It’s a bit like a General who has to keep being the General, even if they know they are the best RSM (Regimental Sergeant Major). Being the RSM isn’t their job. Their job is being the General, and they’re the only one who can do that job. (Can you tell my Dad was in the Army?)

So keep it simple and keep your focus.

KISSChange model

The KISS questions for leading change
Why = Purpose

Where = Vision

What = Strategy

How = Competency

Who = People


You = Courage

Do you have the courage to lead them?

Well do you?

Love to know your thoughts.