Better Change Management – Your 4-Step Checklist

steps going up to illustrate how to achieve better change management

Better Change Management Is Notoriously Hard
Because change is so constant in today’s marketplace, you’d think we’d all have “better change management” skills and results by now. But by its very nature, behavioral change is hard to achieve. In the corporate world, we are apt to cling to the “tried and true” ways of getting things done and to resist new challenges where knowledge and skill gaps can be exposed and mistakes undoubtedly will be made.

4 Steps to Better Change Management
To help you along the way to achieving the desired changes in your business, here is a change management checklist you can follow. Step-by-step, it will lead you through the change process, improve your chances of beating the odds, and guide you toward success.

1.  Establishing the Why
The very first step requires that you clearly know why the change is fundamentally necessary. Be able to (simply and in a compelling way) articulate the critical few reasons the organization needs to change. In other words, build the urgent business case in a way that speaks to the hearts and minds at an individual, team and organizational level.

2.  Predicting Challenges
Try to foresee obstacles you may face. Consider who will struggle the most with the proposed changes.

  • What will employees have to give up and what will they gain?
  • Will there be trust issues that could impede the change process?
  • Will new skills be needed and how soon?
  • What is the urgency around affecting the change plan?
  • Who has the potential to become champions or opponents of the change and how will they influence others?

3.  Planning the Communication
Now it’s time to present the clear and compelling case for change to employees. The challenge is to explain why the change is happening in a way that will convince them that it is in their best interest to support the desired change.

  • Make sure you can describe a desirable end state that is compelling and clear.
  • Paint the picture in a way that everyone can envision success.
  • Set up a communication program that regularly checks in to see that the rationale for change is fully understood and, if not fully accepted, be open to answer questions and allay concerns.

4.  Making Change Work
You will need processes, practices and systems in place to support the change process before you begin.

  • Have learning and development opportunities ready for those who need new knowledge and skills.
  • Design change success metrics to measure progress toward the desired state.
  • Check in with front-line managers frequently to see that they, in turn, are checking with their teams to measure and encourage the desired behaviors.
  • Discover and manage pockets of resistance.
  • Ensure open and transparent two-way communication (questions, answers, frank discussions, thoughtful challenges) to motivate, support and bring employees on board.
  • Be ready and open to course correct as lessons are learned.

The Bottom Line
This is your chance to make change a natural part of everyday corporate life.  Leaders and businesses that can accommodate and adjust to rapid change with better change management will outperform their peers.

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

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