Change Management – what does it really mean to you and your organisation? It is a term much used but is often a controversial topic.
The reality speaks for itself…
To survive in today’s global economy, private and public sector organisations need to take advantage of opportunities, address challenges of changing environments whilst improving business processes and updating technologies – definitely no mean feat.
Organisational change involves managing change to everything from culture, processes, procedures, physical environment, job responsibilities to skills and knowledge.
Change management involves gaining buy-in, eliminating adverse impacts internally and externally, achieving desired business outcomes, and building ongoing change management capability.
Add to this, one of the biggest challenges is ‘change fatigue’, where people are involved in too many changes at once or over a short period.
Preparing for the Change Journey
So what are the fundamental aspects that you need to consider before embarking on change in your organisation?
Shared Vision of the Future Desired State
How can we expect people to want to be part of the journey? There needs to be a shared understanding of the ‘why’ of the change and the required business results.
Visible and Strong Leadership
Leadership is about people, about presenting a unified front to everyone. Leaders are role models of the mindset and behaviours required to produce desired outcomes. Leaders need to be open about the change strategy, their roles, and how changes will unfold.
Appropriate and Regular Communications
Adequate two-way communication forums need to be in place from inception and throughout; they need to be monitored to ensure active (and effective) communications. Don’t wait until ‘full’ information is available – silences can be filled by unhelpful rumours.
Collaborative relationships should exist between business as usual and the change team. Actively and directly seek the input of organisational people/functions involved in the change.
Time – Successful Change takes time
Appropriate time needs to be allowed for designing, planning, and implementing the change. Change does not happen overnight. People need time to adjust and work through change. Successful change takes time.
Focus on People
Are there sufficient resources available for the change effort? Are qualified, authoritative and well-respected people involved? Does the reward system directly reinforce support for the change process and the future state? Is resistance addressed? Do we recognise that there will be people who are adverse to change? How do we turn them into advocates?
“An organisation that is ready for change will find it easier to implement and sustain the new ways of working, and therefore reap the benefits of the change”
The Effective Change Manager’s Handbook, 2015
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