What to Say to Organizational Change Leaders

the photo shows the sequence of a chicken hatching from an egg

You would think that, at this point in our professional lives, we would have come to the realization that change is constant and inevitable, and we would not work so hard to resist it. You can no more put the brakes on organizational change in the workplace than you can keep a chicken from breaking out of its egg. But as long as so many employees continue to fear change, we as change management consulting leaders had better find a way to ease them through it with a minimum of wear and tear.

Our two decades of experience helping our clients navigate organizational change successfully have taught us how to manage change in a way that keeps the team moving forward effectively, productively and collaboratively. Here is how we lead our clients through the process. We coach change management leaders to:

  1. Keep the information flowing.
    When employees are not well informed, they begin to fill the information gaps with rumors – usually bad ones. Share what you know about the change—its purpose, its progress, its overall impact and its predicted impact on individuals. Share what you do not know. And let people know when you expect to be able to fill in the rest of the story. When the team knows what is ahead and what is expected of them, they will spend less time worrying and more time supporting the effort.
  2. Show you understand and care.
    Check in frequently with your team and ask for their questions and concerns. It is in everyone’s best interests to have the change go forward as smoothly as possible. By dealing with resistance in an understanding way, it will show you support your team and recognize change can be difficult.
  3. Work out a plan for action together.
    Meet with the team to map out the change and assign tasks according to the strengths of individual team members. By including team input on the front end, you secure their cooperation for the long haul.
  4. Prioritize.
    Though the plan for change may require many actions, it can be daunting to try to handle them all at once. While they may all be interrelated, not all actions are of equal importance. Figure out which are the most important and urgent and work from that perspective.
  5. Deal with both the positive progress and the negative flack.
    There will be some bumps in the road to change. It is best to handle them right away. Otherwise any problem or conflict can grow and undermine forward progress. By the same token, don’t ignore the successes no matter how small. Reward the great work that spells success for the change initiative and publicly acknowledge those who are pulling in the desired direction.

Change will happen. Do what you can as a change leader to mitigate the difficulties and capitalize on its potential for the future.

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On behalf of Roche and my staff I would like to sincerely thank you for your help with this. The English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment and coaching that you provided for our team was a great success.

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Roche

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