2 Indispensable Change Management Tips

Change management tips focus on working together

Change management tips exist on everything from change management strategies to change management tactics to help make both personal and organization changes a success.

Some change management tips are practical and helpful.  Others are obviously written by people who have never led or managed a complex organizational change initiative.

Organizational Change is Hard
Yes, we know you know how hard it can be to effect real change in an organization. But the good news is that it is really pretty simple from a big picture perspective to do it right. If you look at all the change management tips, they all really boil down to two:

  1. Have a clear plan that people buy into
  2. Stay focused on keeping people committed to the plan

#1  Have a Clear Plan that People Buy Into
First of all you need to be clear on the fundamental purpose for any organizational change. What is it you hope to accomplish personally and professionally? What, exactly, are the goals and, when achieved, how will things be measurably better for the people and for the business? How critical is the change to your business success?

Too many companies embark upon organizational change without knowing just where they are headed, why it matters or how to best navigate the path ahead.

Spend the necessary time and energy upfront to set the stage with a sound action plan. You need to include:

  • Priorities. Recognize that a few strategic and realistic goals are better than many options.
  • Timelines. Have a realistic step-by-step change management plan to move forward.
  • Tasks. Create assignments so that it is clear who is responsible for what.
  • Resources. Make sure everyone has what they need in terms of talent, equipment and funds to accomplish what they have been asked to do.
  • Behaviors. Define the expected and appropriate behaviors so people know how they are to interact and work together.
  •  Transparency. Create exposure systems to measure and monitor progress.
  • Accountability. Define processes to regularly check how the change initiative is faring, what issues have arisen, what concerns need to be addressed and any suggestions for improvement

#2  Stay Focused on Keeping People Committed to the Plan
The second of our change management tips recognizes that while organizational change may be led from above, it takes a workforce committed to the change to successfully implement any lasting change. As clear and sound as your change management plan may be, you have to take into account the “human” side of change if your change initiative is to succeed.

You need to garner support from the “get-go,” sustain it through the inevitable challenges, and maintain a company-wide focus on the vision of success. This involves:

  • Being forthright about the reason for the change and sharing your rationale with the entire workforce.
  • Acknowledging resistance with understanding, listening to and addressing concerns, answering questions and keeping the door open to discussions around how to manage the change more effectively.
  • Involving everyone in the process so, from the C-Suite to the factory floor, each employee understands why the change is needed, how the change will occur, where they fit and what the goals are.
  • Identifying key internal and external stakeholders and change leaders on all levels of the organizational hierarchy who can keep their fingers on the pulse of the change and be ready to adapt as needed to keep things on track.

The Bottom Line
The need for organizations and leaders to adapt and manage change to keep pace is a given. If you don’t face the fact that you will at some point need to do things differently, your company is unlikely to continue doing much of anything at all. Make sure that when you do embark upon change, you do it right.

If you liked these two change management tips, download Rhapsody in Change: How to Mobilize, Design and Transform Your Change Initiative

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