4 Field-Tested Factors to Better Manage Organizational Change

4 Field-Tested Factors to Better Manage Organizational Change
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The Challenge of Organizational Change
Statistics can be misleading, we know, but when they are so lopsided, you have to lend them some credence. Bain reported that only 12% of change management initiatives achieve what they set out to do, and over one-third fail miserably. Given that rather pathetic record for successful organizational change, it is clear that business transformation requires much more careful and thoughtful attention. We all need to learn how to better manage organizational change.

The Fundamentals of Organizational Change
What we know for sure is that major, far-reaching, organizational change must first be fully backed by leadership and aligned with strategic priorities.  Once that has been accomplished, it is time to consistently and actively involve a critical mass of key stakeholders to co-create a shared vision and co-design the new ways of thinking and working together.

That’s the so-called soft side of change – getting the hearts and minds of the people affected by change behind the initiative.  But that is just the first step. 

Four Common Elements of Successful Change
The advantage of looking at change through these four elements is that they can be clearly measured, easily understood, and quickly adjusted as needed to keep on track.

  1. Trustworthiness
    When it comes to change, trustworthiness measures the reliability of those entrusted to implement the change. Trustworthiness reflects not only the abilities of those involved, but also the quality of the teams and their dedication to making the change happen.

    Do your change leaders and change teams engender trust?
  2. Commitment
    How committed are your executive leaders to the change? There is no doubt that they must drive the effort. But they cannot succeed without the buy-in and commitment of those who must implement it – the employees.

    It is up to senior executives to communicate the need for change and the plan to make it happen through frequent, honest, and open discussions. Managers, as the liaisons between senior leaders and front-line workers, are critical to this effort. Conversations must be straightforward, honest, and two-way to gain commitment.

    Anonymous surveys can give you a measure of the support.  How committed are people to your change initiative?
  3. Timely and Transparent Accountability
    Studies show, somewhat surprisingly, that long projects that are reviewed on a regular and frequent basis are more successful than short projects that are rarely reviewed. Transparency and accountability help ensure that you are making progress and allow you to take corrective actions as needed.

    How timely and transparent is your change initiative?
  4. Purpose and Priority
    Be realistic about what you are asking employees to do. They will need guidance on how to balance their daily activities with the change imperative. Most will be willing to put in extra time if they are persuaded that change is needed; but you can’t pile on so many additional responsibilities that they resist the change because they don’t have the time to fulfill them.

    What are you doing to help those affected by change to manage and prioritize workload?

The Bottom Line
To succeed, change needs both soft and hard markers. These four factors to better manage change will help guide the initiative. They will allow you to adjust the direction, speed, and resource allocation to see the change through.

To learn more about how to better manage organizational change, please download The 5 Science-Backed Lenses of Change Leadership that You Must Pay Attention To

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