Resources | Leadership Agility

Empowered Employees: A Leader’s Guide for Effective Change

  • 5 Minute Read
Ron Laudadio + Lyssa Adkins
on February 06, 2023
Embracing Change

The Key to Staying Competitive in Today’s Rapidly Changing Market

As leaders of large organizations, it’s natural to prioritize efficiency and stability by optimizing for a standardized and consistent state of operations. This paradigm has become outdated as our marketplace has accelerated to rates of change never seen before. Organizations stay competitive in today’s fast-paced market by embracing business agility and letting go of the pursuit of consistency and stability. This means making change a normal part of their operations and adopting an operational mindset that prioritizes continuous change. By doing so, they can quickly adapt and respond to market changes, stay competitive, and thrive.

To achieve this dynamic operational state, traditional operating methods that resist change must be replaced with dynamic systems that allow for efficient and effective adaptation to change. While this shift requires a fundamental redesign of mindset and approach, it is essential for long-term success and profitability.

From Fear to Empowerment

Aligning Employees for Organizational Transformation

Organizations will thrive when they embrace change, but it can be difficult for employees to adjust. To create a positive culture of change, leaders must support and empower their employees throughout the transition. By acknowledging concerns and giving employees a sense of control, leaders can build a motivated and engaged workforce that embraces change and drives long-term success. When employees believe change will benefit them, they are more likely to persist in the necessary behaviour changes and see the transformation as an opportunity for growth and improvement. By fostering a supportive environment and empowering employees first, organizations can create a culture of change that drives positive results.


To do this, leaders must embrace Agility principles and practices through several pathways:

Pathways for leaders:
Empower employees and enhance their sense of agency by moving decision-making closer to them and involving them in the process. This helps streamline the decision-making process and create a sense of ownership among employees.
Customer Centricity
Fostering a customer-centric approach and encouraging employees to prioritize customer needs and propose solutions, leading to greater motivation and excitement for change. This approach results in more impactful changes that delight customers and drive success for the organization.
Empowers employees to drive innovation by providing the latitude, support, and opportunities to experiment. Fosters a sense of agency by allowing employees to design and conduct experiments, viewing all outcomes as valuable learning experiences. This cultivates a culture of continuous improvement and experimentation, leading to success for the organization.
Agile Practices
Use Agile practices that allow people to embrace change without upsetting the whole endeavour:

• Short cycles that produce real customer value and maintain progress

• Fast feedback loops with the customer so people can adjust while it's cheap

• Radical transparency so people can see and understand the actual impact of the product and their decisions.

• Built-in cadence to pause, inspect, and bring in change

• Plan again to deliver the next increment of customer value.

Leaders drive organizational change by first creating a culture that embraces it. They address fears and resistance and cultivate a desire for change in their employees before they trigger an organizational shift. By aligning individual goals with the organization’s vision, they turn personal growth into a powerful force for change. Effective leaders tackle the root causes of fear and resistance and create a supportive environment for personal development, which inspires and motivates employees to take action and see change as positive.

Building a Culture of Growth, Experimentation, and Safety in a Changing World

Leaders drive organizational adaptation to a rapidly changing world by shifting employee mindset from fear and scarcity thinking to confidence and abundance thinking. They establish a culture that nurtures personal growth, promotes experimentation and learning, and cultivates a sense of safety and belonging. By overcoming resistance to change and empowering employees to lead their own development, leaders create a proactive and enthusiastic team ready to face future challenges. Leaders can achieve this through the following:

  • Communicate a compelling vision that connects employees’ values to a meaningful and impactful purpose.
  • Provide temporary systems that offer safety and security during the transition.
  • Involve employees in shaping the organization’s future by encouraging their ideas and insights.

Leaders drive successful transformations by inspiring their employees and overcoming fears and resistance to change so everyone can harness their workforce’s collective intelligence to achieve smooth and effective change.

This article was co-written by Agility thought leader Lyssa Adkins and EPiC’s Americas Director, Ron Laudadio. If you would like to learn more about leadership in Agile environments, EPiC and Lyssa offer leadership coaching, both 1-on-1 and group sessions. For more information go to our Lyssa Adkins product offerings page and leave your details for a conversation about how we can help you.

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