We all manage change in our organizations every day. Whether your change is big or small, how effectively you’re able to manage that change depends on a variety of factors. To help you stack the change management deck in your favor, I’ll share what I’ve learned first-hand with this list of 9 things you should know about change management.
1. Start with Why
To get everyone on board with change, you need to explain why the change is important — and what that means for each audience. Is it efficiency? Savings? Profitability? Competitive advantage? You’ll gain the support you need for success if people understand the purpose of the change, and why it makes a difference for their futures and the future of the organization.
2. Address the Fear of the Unknown
We resist change because we’re afraid of it. The more you can assuage that fear, the more successful your change management effort will be. Connect the dots between present-state and future-state. Create a detailed road map of the change journey. Empower individuals to impact the process. Solicit questions, and answer them as fully as possible. Position change as opportunity — not a threat. Information and transparency are powerful antidotes for fear.
3. Identify and Plan for Risks
Where are the risks in your change journey? Invest the time to identify all possible “What ifs.” Adapt your plan now to minimize known and potential risks, and develop strategies to manage additional risks should they arise in the future — that way, if and when they do, you’ll be ready.
4. Communicate Early and Often
Communication starts with an intentional communication plan around why the change is important and covers everything from identifying key milestones to revealing shifts and celebrating successes along the way. Good communication is essential to engagement, buy-in, credibility, and accountability — and all are critical to your change management success.
5. Reset Priorities As Needed
Every change requires the investment of energy, time, and budget on top of “business as usual.” Evaluate priorities so the organization can successfully achieve change while at the same time continuing to pursue critical strategic goals. Once you understand what the change requires and how it may impact other goals, you can make informed decisions about how to proceed.
6. Assess Your Resources
From people and skills to tools and technology, contrast the resources you’ll need for change with those currently available in the organization, then build a plan to address any gaps. A thorough, honest assessment as part of your change management process will empower you to plan accordingly — either adding to or strengthening what’s missing, shifting resources from elsewhere, or adapting your approach to utilize what you have.
7. Plan To Measure Progress
Only by measuring your progress can you effectively manage it. Develop specific metrics and put processes in place to collect relevant data that will reveal whether you’re on track, and where you may need to make adjustments. Productivity. Budget. Morale. All are important metrics to keep an eye on.
8. Clearly Define Roles and Responsibilities
You’re more likely to meet expectations when you know what those expectations are, right? An effective change management experience requires clearly defined roles and responsibilities, to maximize performance by fueling engagement, efficiency, accountability, and, ultimately, success.
9. Be Open to Change
Yes, even the best-laid plans for change can change! In fact, chances are they will. Critical to successful change management is the ability to adapt, shift, and re-set when faced with challenges and unexpected changes.
Want to learn more? Spinnaker’s team of experts is ready to roll up our sleeves to help you successfully navigate change in your organization. Contact us today to get started.
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