Are the Conditions Right for Change?
Change management consulting experts know that change rarely comes easy. To increase your odds for success, make sure the right conditions for successful organizational change exist. The wrong conditions cause many employees to resist change and sometimes even resent the leaders of change as in the cartoon above.
The First Step
The first step in effecting organizational change successfully is to recognize that it will take consistent effort and full commitment. Whatever change you envision, it must be worth it. It should make enough of a positive difference in your business results to warrant the time and energy it will take from the entire company.
6 Conditions for Successful Organizational Change
Once you have decided that change is necessary for growth, required to withstand the competition or maybe even paramount for survival, then be sure you are willing to put the following change management consulting conditions in place.
1. Determination to Change
As a top executive, you need to be more than willing to change – you must be fully committed to it. This means not only overseeing changes in the people around you but also working to change yourself.
2. Clarity of Vision
The proposed change must be clearly and simply stated so that all employees can picture it, understand and embrace it. They need to know what will be involved and why it is imperative. Paint the picture of how the change will benefit not only the company’s bottom line but also the employees who must implement it.
3. Consistent Communication
Communicating organizational change requires a consistent and compelling message, frequent reiteration and an openness to answer questions honestly and provide support for those who will be affected. A one-time announcement or marketing banners will not work. Listen to and answer objections, deal with the “what-ifs,” and go slow but steady. Have two-way discussions, not one-way communications.
4. Gather Advocates, Team-by-Team
Help your change team leaders work with their small groups to influence them one-by-one and gain their commitment. Help them address their team’s questions with direct answers – what is required of each individual team member and why it matters.
5. Coach for Desired Behaviors
Keep close to your employees and encourage the behaviors that lead successfully to the desired change. Role-model, recognize and reward them. Trying to break old work habits and operate differently can be frustrating. Acknowledge the pain but appreciate the efforts and success.
6. Stay on Track
Don’t let up your guard. It’s too easy to slip backward into more comfortable work routines. Keep focused on the goal as the “new” behaviors become the “normal” behaviors.
The Bottom Line
if you want your change effort to be successful, you must set up the right conditions for successful organizational change. That means focusing on clarity, commitment, communication, and active engagement of those responsible for both implementing and living with the desired changes.
To learn more about the conditions for successful organizational change, download this Research-Backed Change Management Toolkit Now
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