In the pursuit for organizational change, leaders make endless changes with the intention that the changes will eventually lead to progress. In leading change, it is important to differentiate the 2 terms as it is often used interchangeably, however, there is a fine line that is being left out.The term "progress" is an indicator that there is a movement forward and is generally identified as being positive, change does not necessarily imply that there is progress.
When it is said that you have made progress, how does it look like? Here are some examples to bring about the context
Example #1 : Performance Review
Employee was given feedback based on a dip in performance, this resulted in a change in the approach from mentoring to coaching with guidance. The change in the approach allowed employee to feel supported as the employee did not have the capabilities to complete the objective in the beginning. This change enabled progress towards projecting an increase in the employee's performance. Example #2: Self Improvement
Joe (*not real name) was an individual who required a lot of help in his job search as he has not been able to secure a job for the past 1 year. When joe was asked "what changes did you make in the past 1 year to secure a job?", joe answered that he just increased the number of resume that he sent out from a mere 5 resumes to almost 150 resumes weekly. As much as changes were implemented, there was no progress at all, this calls for a huge shift in the way of how his job search is being done. After going through Alvigor's coaching , joe made significant shifts to his attitude, his job search process and defining of what he wants. Each of changes that he made, allowed him to have more interviews, phone calls and eye balls on his resume.
"Progress can be described as a river moving forward despite the presence of large boulders or obstacles that may stand in the way. "
So how do leaders make progress when leading the change?
Leaders need to practice progress; not just embody it
Practicing progress means that leaders need to get involved with the change projects and not just stand by with folded arms and expect miracles. The act of "involvement" refers to involving to help rather than to just advise. Advising is easy; telling others to change is easy; but practice progressing with team members is another story altogether. Practicing progress with the team is important as leaders would then understand the struggles and challenges faced by the team.
Leading the change sounds nice; the actual leading of change takes effort and consistency to be able to achieve progress. Progress requires change, to change requires effort, to put in effort ; leaders need to belief in change.