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  • Writer's pictureTjaart Minnaar

Change and performance management: two crucial and interlinked leadership capabilities

Successful change starts in the minds of people. If your people don’t understand the need for change or how it will benefit them, creating the desired behaviour change will be extremely challenging.

To run a thriving business in today’s rapidly changing world, your leaders must be excellent at leading change and your people change ready. And yet research firms, like McKinsey & Company, have found that 70% of change initiatives fail.


  • Too many initiatives at the same time that aren’t synchronised

  • Ineffective communication

  • Employees don’t believe in what you are trying to achieve

  • Employees don’t understand the benefits of adopting new processes, technologies and tools

  • Employees aren’t equipped with the tools they need to be successful

  • Leaders aren’t equipped to lead change or manage resistance effectively

To help employees make the mental and behavioural shifts needed for change to achieve high-performance, they must understand business and labour’s ‘intertwined destiny’. They need to know how the economy functions, the reality of your current operating environment and how the business profit model works. When people understand what they want as employees and they also understand what the business needs to be successful, there will be an appreciation for and a willingness to work together towards this. Once they “see the bigger picture” it is much easier to develop united, engaged people, that are able to execute your strategy and deliver a winning performance.

Bottom line: people won’t do differently, if they don’t think differently.

Once you kickstart this conversation, it is important to maintain it through an ongoing cycle of structured and meaningful dialogue to review performance and set goals, underpinned by your business’s purpose, values and vision.

There are three key steps to kickstart and sustain this process:

  1. Mobilise change influencers: Identify and equip key influencers on all levels to drive change and a high-performance culture. This creates a common change language, promotes long-term sustainability and ensures that a winning culture becomes the “way of doing things”.

  2. Build a critical mass of understanding and commitment: Align a critical mass of employees to a shared vision, focused on their intertwined destiny. Use people and culture processes that mobilise your people around commons goals – engaging, empowering and equipping them with the skills and tools to make the behavioural shifts required to build further momentum. Our YOUnite programme accomplishes steps 1 and 2 in a very short space of time, by helping your people understand the WHY, WHAT and HOW of the change with an appreciation for WIFM (What’s in it for me), while gaining their valuable input and commitment to action plans.

  3. Continue to develop the right attitude and effective teamwork: In today’s fast changing and virtual environment, the need for and frequency of effective team dialogue has increased significantly. A recent McKinsey & Company agility study also identified a Network of Empowered Teams as one of the five trademarks of agile organisations. Therefore, it is key to ensure that teams have structured daily discussions about work and implement team effectiveness processes that support future fit standards of alignment, accountability, transparency and collaboration. TeamConnect®, our tried and tested team performance methodology, uses structured team meetings as well as on-the-job coaching and mentoring to do just this. By engaging teams in regular goal setting, action planning and reviewing, it becomes an effective vehicle through which leaders can continuously manage change and performance.

TeamConnect®, a team performance methodology that works

My 35 years of developing people, leading change and enhancing performance have revealed that effective team meetings follow a distinct cycle of four steps: Reviewing performance, Goal setting, Improving Team Fitness and Execution. (If you’ve ever wondered what ‘WTF’ stands for… it means to walk the floor i.e. visible and engaging leadership.)

Together these steps ensure that the process of team meetings in your business becomes a continuous and agile cycle of structured discussion and execution.

Learn more about how YOUnite, our high-impact employee engagement and change readiness programme – together with TeamConnect® - can take your business to new heights

In the next blog post, we are going to explore how structured conversations can help leaders tackle the challenging situations they are not getting to because of Covid-19 fatigue. If you’ve enjoyed this read, be sure to sign-up for our quarterly newsletter bringing you tips, tools and the latest industry thinking

About the author: Tjaart Minnaar, CEO and Culture Improvement expert at 2Collaborate

Tjaart has spent 35 years in business and consulting conceptualising, designing and implementing solutions to improve business and individual performance. The success has been highlighted by several of his clients winning Deloitte’s Best Company To Work For Survey, overall or in their industry categories.

Get to know more about Tjaart on LinkedIn


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