A Blueprint for Better Change Partnerships at Work

A Blueprint for Better Change Partnerships at Work
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Better Change Partnerships at Work Are Required for Successful Organizational Change
For organizational change to be successful, leaders must form better change partnerships at work.  In fact, our leadership simulation assessment found that change partnering is a critical skill that elevates leaders and teams to new heights by fostering change resilience and alignment.

Best Practices for Better Change Partnerships at Work
To become an effective partner in organizational change, follow these change management simulation best practices.

  1. Establish a Foundation of Trust
    Change management consulting experts understand the significance of trust when dealing with organizational change. Trust is the bedrock upon which successful partnerships are built. And because employees tend to resist change, high levels of psychological team safety and trust are required to openly talk through the vision for change.

    Change leaders who foster trust have higher chances of change success because they create an environment where individuals feel secure enough to discuss and embrace transformation willingly. To build  trust in leaders, be inclined to admit uncertainties, share challenges, and encourage others to do the same. Leadership vulnerability fosters a culture of authenticity and enables teams to better navigate the unknown together.

    Have your leaders established enough trust to increase the likelihood of change success?

  2. Prioritize Clear Two-Way Change Communications
    Even though leaders know that effective change communication is a linchpin in any successful organizational change effort, leaders often fail at communicating change in simple, honest terms. Those most affected by change want straightforward answers to:

    — What is the current situation that is driving the need for change?
    — What is the business case for change?
    — How urgent is the need for change?
    — What is the vision for change?
    — What’s in it for me?
    — How much say do we have in the change process?
    — What role do you want us to play?

    The earlier that this is openly communicated in the change process the higher likelihood for success.  Ensuring that everyone understands the “why” behind the change and being diligent about regular, honest updates, and forums for questions help dispel uncertainties and keep everyone aligned with the broader purpose.

    Then encourage teams to embrace healthy conflict, commit to decisions, hold one another accountable, and focus on collective results. Teams that are well informed are better equipped to weather the storms of change and emerge stronger on the other side.How would you rate your two-way change dialogue?

  3. Actively Involve Stakeholders in the Change Process
    While most organizational change decisions come from the C-suite, frontline managers and their teams are usually the ones that must implement the desired changes.  How early and often the executive team actively involves stakeholders in the change process has a direct correlation with how successful the change will be.

    If you want to win over employees’ hearts and their minds, you must invest the time and energy to truly understand the needs and frustrations of those affected by change. Be open-minded and purposefully engage in constructive debates about what works and what does not work.

    Your goal as a change catalyst is to give employees as much direct input as possible on the new ways of working so that it becomes “their idea.”

    Note: Constructive Debate Research
    According to University of California psychology professor Charlan Nemeth, when different perspectives are allowed to be thoughtfully debated, it stimulates thinking and alignment.  In her book, In Defense of Troublemakers: The Power of Dissent in Life and Business, she found that jury confidence increased, and jury verdicts were considered significantly more just when one or more of the jurors did not agree with the majority at the start of deliberations.  The same occurs when employees thoughtfully debate organizational change.

    Are you creating an environment where employee opinions are heard and valued?

The Bottom Line
Better change partnerships at work require a commitment to some foundational change principles – build trust, have two-way communication, and ensure active stakeholder involvement to create the alignment and confidence for organizational change to take hold.  These proven change management training strategies offer a blueprint for leaders and teams to not only navigate change successfully but to emerge stronger, more resilient, and more united in the face of future transformations.

To learn more about how to create better change partnerships at work, download 5 Science-Backed Lenses of Successful Change Leadership

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