Why do leaders play such a critical role in a transformation process? To consider this we can use the 2Leadership organization wheel as a model to think about how an organization works.
At the heart of every organization our people who work together to achieve a collective goal and every organization has a vision, a strategy, and a culture. The Hub of the wheel represents the people, and the vision, strategy and culture are represented by the rim. For the wheel to work the rim and the Hub need to be connected by spokes which represent the leaders of the organization. In their role a spokes in the wheel leaders transmit and connect their people in the hub with the vision, the strategy and the culture of the organization and so provides strategic direction and act as multipliers of the culture.
This is essential during a transformation process to create alignment to the new strategic direction and the new cultural norms. It ensures that teams are focused on the things which will bring about the desired change and it helps them to build strong emotional bonds and to overcome barriers to the new direction together.
This powers the wheel from the outside aligning it to the new direction and stabilizing it to withstand the inevitable obstacles and bumps on the road which are part of any transformation process.
When leaders assume their responsibility as spokes in the organizational wheel, they are creating the environment and the conditions for their teams to connect emotionally with the change. This enables each individual to choose to think, feel and act differently and so choose to engage and commit to actively contributing. This generates the talk inside the wheel to make it turn and to move it in the desired direction.
So, what do leaders need to be able to assume their responsibility a spokes in the organizational wheel? They need to make a conscious decision to be a leader to develop the skill set to transmit and connect their people to the new direction and to acquire a toolset to engage their team. So, they choose to commit to actively contributing to the transformation. This is what makes transformation happen. This is why leaders play such a critical role in a transformation process.