I think we have it wrong as leadership coaches! It is becoming clearer that as I work with many leaders as their change coach, as well as assisting in building high performing teams, that the focus has been top down cultural change.
That is only one piece of a three-pronged approach to organizational change. Step 1 is helping the senior leader change their role to “creating the future”, “nurturing identity” and being an “enabler” not a “doer”.
Step 2, while doing this, my role is to help them revise their primary leadership role by aligning their leadership team by commissioning to have their leaders to work through a novel process (to redefine their roles in the context of “managing the present”).
Step 3, most importantly to realize that there is a bottom up group of change agents that they need to be aware of, support and not hinder.
This “trialogue”requires senior leaders to be fully driven from a space of empathy, compassion and fully understanding that the invisible organizational leadership networks are more powerful than the visible ones.
This takes a leader to a place where they begin to realize that leadership is not about their needs, their technical requests, etc., & more about the “other”. More to discuss about this as organizations may need to rethink their future.