Sally Henderson
Powerful change from the inside out




Change starts with change

This week has seen me engage with a variety of leaders from different businesses for Executive Mentoring.  They are all at different stages of growth with different pains and challenges they want to overcome.  They all want things to change. The one thing in common I see time and time again when Mentoring for growth is the “Dance with Change” as I call it.
People, and companies, say they want change, but here’s the thing; most change agendas in agencies, especially when it comes to people and talent, fail. Why? Because there isn’t a genuine commitment to change. It’s as simple as that.
Here’s what normally happens:
There’s a meeting. There may be a few. It’s agreed to grow and develop certain things “need to change”. So, it is signed off that the “change”, whatever it is, will start to happen. And so it does. Or at least people pretend it is.
More often than not, especially on the subject of people and talent, there’s a lot of talk about change, some token effort to demonstrate change and then old habits quickly kick in, the leaders aren’t held accountable and hey presto we are back where we were, only this time with an extra bucket of frustration as a little “gift”.
When this happens with new senior talent hires the effects are even more damaging as a lot of ‘repair work” needs to happen in the wake of the failed appointment. Not to mention the financial cost and losses.
This approach to “change” causes great talent to leave, clients become vulnerable to mistakes happening through disengaged or stressed out remaining talent and performance dips, or even plummets.
From my experience, here are 5 steps to support talent change work in your organisation:

  • Get clear on what the change is you want to see happen. Write it down so it becomes tangible, real, can be agreed upon and is something to be held accountable against later down the line
  • Work out what “success” needs to look like from the change and break it down into clear milestones that can be measured. Then make sure you measure them!
  • Ensure leadership roles and remits are clear in terms of what has to be done to deliver the change. (It stills shocks me most leaders in creative agencies don’t have a clear or accurate Job Description but that’s another #Friday Focus!). It’s especially important that boundaries are agreed and upheld to enable change to embed and deliver
  • Celebrate the small wins along the way to secure a firm foundation for the bigger, longer term wins and then celebrate them brilliantly
  • Finally, get support for yourself and your colleagues to guide you successfully through change. I was with a global business owner this week who wisely said: “We wouldn’t expect our people to take on new challenges and growth without supporting them so why do we expect this from ourselves?”  

If you are considering change in your organisation I would love to have a cup of tea to understand what needs to happen from a people, talent and leadership point of view to set up for success and make your change real and motivational to do!  Please email me to arrange a date.


Action: To nominate your business as a leader in investing in people and be interviewed for my Shine Brighter Series promoting best practice to Attract & Retain Top Talent please email me