TED has compiled seven talks associated with structural changes and change success. While each has something to contribute, reviewing them all would be too much for this article. Here is an overview of one of them.

In Five Ways to Lead in an Era of Constant Change, Jim Hemerling says that in order to make transformational change empowering rather than exhausting, “leaders need to apply five strategic imperatives that put people first.”

Inspire through purpose: All too often change communication is about how the change will serve the company and, perhaps, the marketplace. While some leaders may find that focus inspiring, most employees will not. If you can define the purpose in a way that aligns with the values and purpose of employees, you will inspire their support.

  1. Go all in: All too often, “transformation” really means “downsizing” and “layoffs.” True transformation may require some changes in workforce size and/or deployment. But it also requires changes in operations and investing in talent, “going all in.”
  2. Enable people with the capabilities they need to succeed during the transformation and beyond: It is not enough to train people in what they need to know and do differently once the change is in place. It is essential that they be given the skills that they need to move through the transformation.
  3. Instill a culture of continuous learning: In a world of continuous change, it is essential that employees are prepared to constantly be gaining new skills, new understanding, and new insights.
  4. Leaders need a vision, a clear roadmap with milestones, and to hold people accountable. But if they are to put people first, they also need a culture of inclusion.

As change practitioners, Hemerling’s five imperatives provide a strong lens for us to apply as we consider how to support the successful execution of change. They identify for us a series of risks that we should be calling out to the leaders we support. And, they identify a number of important elements that we should ensure are included in any change execution plan.

The other videos in this collection are: