When Leading a Change, Clarify the Outcomes You Seek

Are you achieving what you want?

I listened recently to a Harvard Business Review podcast about dysfunctional teams and how to fix them. The expert being interviewed was Roger Schwarz.

He said that when leading a change, the leader is wise to start with questions rather than action.

Here is the first question:

What are the specific outcomes we are looking to accomplish?

When I think about many issues we fight to resolve, it occurs to me that in our urgency to fix a bad situation, we start working without considering the aim. Action feels good. It feels useful. But, it often turns out to be wasted energy when we don’t consider first the specific outcomes we seek.

Pausing to consider, clarify and record the outcomes we seek helps to focus energy and effort. We become laser-like as compared to “scattergun.”

If you are struggling to effect a change, consider whether the outcomes you seek are clear.

More on this in the next two notes.