4 Steps to Better Navigate Change

cartoon of a man lying on the ground trying to hold back change but he should learn to Better Navigate Change

Companies Who Better Navigate Change Are Able to Perform Better
Let’s face it…change is the name of the game in the business world these days. Change can’t be ignored or held back…and those who resist it do so at their peril. Nothing seems to stay the same for long so we’d best get used to change and find better ways to deal with it.

Typical Organization Changes We Have Come to Expect
Does this sound familiar?

  • Reorganize the business
  • Open new markets
  • Transition to more effective behaviors
  • Implement new technologies
  • Deal with regulatory and market changes
  • Shift to new leadership
  • Prepare for a merger or acquisition

Understand and Prepare for Change – Do not Fight It
If you are like most of our clients, you must first accept that change is inevitable. Leaders are far better off when they understand and prepare for organizational change rather than try to fight against it. Those companies that excel at change management are the ones that are able to adapt as needed and survive for the long-term.

Four Steps to Better Navigate Change
What can business leaders do to build resilience and flexibility in our organization?   Here are the steps you need to follow to better navigate change:

#1.  Set the Stage
Clearly describe why the change makes sense at the organizational, team and individual levels. Employees will more readily accept the change if they understand the rationale behind it and why it will be in the company’s (and their own) best interest. Because it is only human nature to cling to the status quo, it is a leader’s challenge to persuade the workforce that change is necessary.

Strong-arm tactics and improbable promises are not the answer. You need to acknowledge that change can be difficult but that you and team managers will be available to support the change, deal with any issues that arise, and answer all questions.

#2.  Guide the Change
Once you paint a clear picture of what the future will look like, establish an influential and cross-functional change management team that is committed to the future vision and has the power and credibility to make it happen.

#3.  Make It Happen
This is where the rubber meets the road. To succeed at change implementation, you need to continue the two-way communication around change, provide the training that supports the change, and empower managers and teams from one end of the organization to the other to make the day-to-day decisions that make change real.

#4.  Make it Stick
Hold everyone accountable for effecting the change. Reinforce the new ways clearly, consistently and fairly. Recognize and reward the new adaptors and have consequences for those who continue to resist.

The Bottom Line
Factors relating to employees’ responsiveness to the changes required to remain competitive ranked as the third most influential factor in our recent organizational Alignment Research.  Establish your company and your leadership team as being highly responsive to change…you accept that change will happen and are ready to integrate change into your DNA.

To learn more, download Rhapsody in Change: How to Mobilize, Design and Transform Your Change Initiative

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