Change Initiative in Organizations Best Practices

Implementing change initiative in organizations can be a difficult problem. While any company desires to be adaptable and able to keep up with the times, and to evolve to improve and grow, a lot of change initiatives ultimately fail, because it’s a difficult thing to actually undergo.

See, a change initiative consists of a series of necessary disciplines, such as people skills, logistical and analytical skills, psychology, training and system management just to name the bigger portions of this realm. So, a lot of attempts, with all the work that goes in, and the impossibility to force something too hard (without stalling an organization completely) often don’t make it to the endgame.

The problems that cause this are a lack of planning, a lack of focus, and poor communication and relationship building primarily.

In order for an initiate to gain momentum and enter actual practice and application, you have to overcome some serious human elements, as well as a strategy that works well with the time allotted. It’s a difficult thing prospect, and there’s nothing I can really say about this that hasn’t been pointed out in past change management pieces. But, I’ll go over the basic obstacles yet again, I suppose.

One of the big keys to getting an initiative to gain momentum is to overcome human opposition that can come from bringing change into an environment. One of the biggest issues that a lot of change models tend to focus on is unfreezing people, that is to say, to lower their resistance to change.

This is a result of people not liking to be pulled out of their comfort zone, and people feeling they shouldn’t be bothered with someone’s tinkering when they have way too much work to do normally.

So, the first thing about change initiative is to sell them on the change by showing them the problems that are present, and to get them aware of the benefits of remedying the problems with these changes.

This will eliminate most human opposition.

Now, you’re going to need to cultivate a good relationship with the people you’re implementing change with. This requires leadership skills in that you have to seem authoritative and reliable, but also approachable at the same time. People need to be comfortable confiding in you and in giving feedback (necessary), but at the same time, they need to feel that they can trust your ultimate decisions and advice explicitly as well.

Finally, you need to have a solid training strategy for people to learn change through, and this is where a lot of initiatives fail utterly. Traditional training models with classrooms and the like are not very motivational other than by fear and passive-aggressive oppression. The better strategy here is going to be to implement alternative training methods like flipped classrooms, gamification and social-oriented learning, facilitated with a competent LMS system. Along with this, consider implementing an onboard system like WalkMe for access to the ability to train them by hands-on experience where possible.

If you have your strategy paced out, and you overcome human resistance as well as cultivate a strong relationship, and of course you have solid training methods planned out, then your change initiative is far more likely to see fruition.
 

Christopher Smith
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.
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