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Change Leadership: Emphasizing People Co-Creating the Future

August 18, 2023

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SOPHIE WADE

Change Leadership: Emphasizing People Co-Creating the Future

Change Leadership: Emphasizing People Co-Creating the Future

Lata Hamilton is a change leadership expert, change management consultant, and creator of the "Leading Successful Change" program. Lata has worked with some of Australia’s largest companies on operating model changes, global cultural transformations, and digital transformations. She shares her insights about leading people to achieve long-lasting change, especially paying attention to offline process elements. She discusses learnings from pandemic pivots, change leaders’ examples, and a winning top-down/bottom-up combined approach. Lata describes the emphasis shifting from tasks and roles to skills and expertise contributing value to deliver results.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[03:12] Lata starts her career in advertising to explore her creative side.

[05:35] Lata assesses the career model looking for balance—fulfilling work and being well-compensated.

[06:52] A graduate program offers many growth opportunities.

[07:52] Lata is ambitious, wants variety, and to make an impact.

[08:35] How pay should match professional growth and upskilling.

[09:48] Lata moves sector using her transferrable skills.

[10:37] Process work becomes Lata’s focus.

[11:32] Lata leaves a graduate role having documented all the team processes.

[12:27] In financial services, Lata develops compliance and process skills and discovers project management.

[14:14] A colleague suggests change management after reviewing Lata’s range of skills and experience.

[16:00] What hadn’t Lata mentioned that is critical for change management work?

[17:48] The employee experience drives a great customer experience.

[18:39] How they pivoted at a major retailer when the pandemic hit.

[21:33] The deep caring Lata observed from people working on the frontline.

[22:34] How the change team led by example to demonstrate new ways of working.

[23:46] Affecting change, the critical work is off the system—offline process elements such as culture.

[25:33] During the pandemic, having had no preparation there was much remediation and helping to transition and cope after the fact.

[28:30] Change can be painful, taking much commitment and energy.

[29:16] Lata shares what can go wrong for companies not preparing for the future.

[31:08] Lata sees an explosion of AI automation and workforce transformation.

[31:22] Many organizations are recognizing they have low change management capabilities.

[32:58] Lata’s prediction that people’s roles will matter less than who they are, their skills and expertise used to deliver value and results rapidly.

[33:57] How “Business As Usual” roles and job descriptions need to be rethought and employees empowered.

[35:52] Lata questions leaders’ productivity baseline and metrics used to support Return To Office mandates.

[37:15] How should we be measuring success?

[38:54] Leading indicators for profit are a reflection of the employee experience.

[40:18] Why track sentiment and how confidence—determining how people show up—can bridge gaps.

[42:22] IMMEDIATE ACTION TIP: To affect lasting change, lead from the top and model the change, and also open it up, co-create, and co-design with your teams. Invite them to provide feedback, give them tools, and teach them how to think critically and flexibly, building their capabilities to accept change in their personal and professional lives.

[45:30] – How a hackathon co-creates a new operating model and gets people committed to the future state.

[47:00] The multiple benefits of tapping into people’s desire to pass on their skills and knowledge.

QUOTES

“Change management is really a focus on people in order to reach a result.”

“It’s not fluffy. We help people move from doing things in one way to doing things in a new way. We do it through communications, training, and business readiness. We do it to realize business benefit that is actually successful, sustained, and embedded into the future.”

“There is this big trend to build change capability. There’s also a trend around right-sizing teams and looking at how are we operating: ‘What do we need for the future?’ We are going is going require workforces that are more empowered.”

“From a workplace relations and employment relations perspective, we’re still stuck in the industrial era.”

“When people feel like they get communicated to, they are confident in what they are doing or the change that’s coming down the line.”

“If I am feeling really confident then I’m willing to be flexible and to adjust my approach.”

“I know I’m going to be leaving a role, so I’ve always just wanted to come in, share as much as I can, and deliver as much value as I can. I want to leave the team better than what I started with and I want to leave them with skills, tools, and capabilities to carry on this great work after I’ve gone.”

“When you co-create job descriptions, you’re suddenly doing two things. You’re getting people committed to the future state. But what you’re also doing is you’re helping people to write themselves into roles.”

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