What to Say to Organizational Change Leaders

What to Say to Organizational Change Leaders
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Organizational Change Leaders Know…

You would think that, at this point in our professional lives, we would have come to the realization that organizational change is constant and inevitable, and we would not work so hard to resist change. 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.

Keep the Momentum
But as long as so many employees continue to fear change, change management consulting leaders had better find a way to ease them through it with a minimum of wear and tear.

6 Tips for Organizational Change Leaders
Our three 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. The best change management leaders:

  1. Actively Involve Those Most Affected by Change from the Beginning
    Experienced change leaders know that changes must go through people and culture to be fully adopted.  Change does not occur after the fact.  To win the hearts and minds of people, you must actively involve stakeholders from the start of any change.
  2. Keep the Information Flowing
    When employees are not well informed, they begin to fill the information gaps with gossip, back-channeling, and rumors — usually bad ones. Share what you know early and often — the business case for change, the vision for change, and the urgency for change.

    Everyone should understand where the project stands, its overall impact, and its predicted impact on individuals. Share what you know, what you do not know, and when you will 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.

  3. 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.
  4. Work Out a Collective 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.
  5. Prioritize What Really Matters Most
    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 changes  and work from that perspective.
  6. Deal with the Positive and the Negative Quickly
    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 change and publicly acknowledge those who are pulling in the desired direction.

The Bottom Line
Change is inevitable. Do what you can as a change leader to mitigate the difficulties and capitalize on its potential for the future.

To learn more about being an organizational change leader, download Research-Backed Change Management Toolkit for Leaders Now 


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