2018 brought about many changes, so it’s only fitting to create a 2018 change management summary.
Resistance to change might still be fairly common, especially considering this is a natural response, but in 2018 many came to terms with the importance of change.
As change management gathered momentum, more and companies established a change management 101.
This marked a transitional period in industries seeking progressive methods to ensure their business met the needs of the modern consumer.
So the general consensus for change might have elevated considerably, but still the following question must be addressed:
What practices should you establish going forward?
The change management scope itself is volatile, meaning it’s important to stay up-to-date or risk becoming obsolete.
To bring you a slightly different, more practical 2018 change management summary, we’ve decided to shed some light on the best practices for 2019.
These were capitalized on by the companies who had the most success in 2018.
If you’re intrigued to learn about how to initiate a successful change management initiative, fortunately you’ve come to the right place!
Making Change Seem Positive
Often the perception of change can upset its impact.
In order for staff to embrace change with open arms, they must understand how it will positively influence their working lives.
Creating a positive perception can be achieved in different ways, but one excellent approach is to introduce fun exercises which alter the way change is viewed.
Understanding the need for change is a great place to start. People often fail to realize why change is necessary, and how it will help things run more smoothly in the long run.
It is the responsibility of the organization to let the need for change be known.
Executives, management, and change agents should communicate problems with the current system, before collectively soliciting advice to introduce new initiatives.
Having assessed feedback, statistics, and regular company data, the appropriate parties will be well-equipped to communicate the benefits of change, and most importantly make it seem desirable.
This will ultimately boost the impact of change across the board.
Choosing the Right Agents
Change is unpredictable and certainly challenging, especially in the early stages.
It’s important to identify change champions during this period, those who can support the process and keep things ticking over.
Change agents should be clearly defined from early on, and should be selected based on who is most enthusiastic about change.
Agents are responsible for converting the opinions of others, and perhaps using their positivity to influence people for the better.
When selecting your change champions consider the following points:
- Are they committed to making a difference? Your change agents should have a genuine desire to change, and regularly communicate the benefits of doing so.
- Are they skilled and capable of working in various situations? Change is a field that throws up many surprises, so the individuals you elect must be capable of adapting to different situations.
- Your change agents should be capable of clear prioritization, understanding which tasks require immediate attention and which can be offset accordingly.
- Who has a knack for engaging and motivating others to work in conjunction with company initiatives and who doesn’t?
- Those who are best at doing so should preferably be strong communicators, alongside having elite collaboration and problem-solving skills.
It’s all well and good if staff hear about the importance of change from management, but desirably they’d hear about it from executives and their CEO.
When change is communicated from the top, staff have an added incentive to embrace its importance.
If it’s good enough for high-ranking staff, it’s certainly good enough for everyone else.
The CEO should focus on communicating the diverse impact of change, while management provide more detailed, specific information on a departmental basis.
This will underline the importance of change, while exemplifying how it will affect individual team members.
If change is being introduced with no real relevance to the parties expected to embrace it, how do you think it will be met?
— Mike Lehr (@MikeLehrOZA) January 12, 2019
Probably not too kindly. When change is introduced it should seem relevant to invested parties.
The bigger picture should always be addressed. Outline organizational goals, and speak about how these fit with your team’s daily duties.
You can consequently break down how different changes will help staff achieve their goals, before more specifically discussing individual benefits.
When change appears relevant to individual staff duties, you’ll be surprised by how receptive employees become.
To give a practical example, let’s consider the finance department of an organization. A new piece of finance software is on the horizon, but how should you promote its introduction?
Well, a great starting point would be communicating benefits like less time spent on paperwork and more time making commissions.
You can also discuss how management will get reports quicker, with no need to wait for staff to wrap up the necessary documentation.
These specific advantages are directly relatable, and are certainly enough of an incentive to make change relevant to those involved.
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this 2018 change management summary and can capitalize on these great practices going forward.
Remember to embrace modern tools and techniques too, which will make managing change that much easier.
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.