Your Change Management Checklist
The systematic approach of implementing change is known as change management — whether it’s on an organizational or individual level. This term has 3 aspects tied to it, and they include adapting to the new order of doing things, controlling and effecting change altogether. Therefore, a proactive approach to change management may consist of these 3 elements. At the end of the day, positive results can be seen if you follow a change management checklist.
1. Become an Agent of Change
If the rate at which change is taking place is faster than your own, then you’re going to have problems as a manager or leader. Therefore, if you want to minimize any negative impact on the people you lead, you have to be responsible for driving and managing that change.
2. Don’t Handover Your Managerial Power
If you’re not sure when change is about to take place, you’ll lose it. To tackle this, always assume an active role and don’t wait for permission. It’s in your best interest that the people you lead catch up with the momentum, and this must be initiated and controlled by you. So your job is to attack it with confidence.
3. Mind Priorities and Clear-cut Directions
Your people need clear directions on how they’re supposed to do things. This way, they’ll always stay on track, so it’s very unlikely that you’ll see a drop in their productivity.
Your job would be to try and minimize ambiguity as much as possible, as well as clear up the unknown so that everybody knows what they’re supposed to be doing.
4. Work with Short-term Objectives
When change begins to take effect, it’s likely that you’ll lose resources or even lose some people in your work-group. Not everyone will be able to keep up with the revolution, and this is something you need to prepare for.
This means that you’ll have more work to do than before. So to make work easier, just focus on clear-cut objectives that are easy to work on. And they should be short-range or short term. If you break them into bits, they can be easily tackled by those working on them, hence goals will be achieved as expected.
5. Work Roles Must Be Clarified
Never assume that the people under you know exactly where and how to apply their efforts. They might not ask, or they might confidently move in the positive direction. But you must still check.
You need to discuss with them about their respective job roles, while being specific about issues related to decision-making, personal accountability and reporting. Make every subordinate understand what they are supposed to be doing, as well as their expected performance standards. You also need to help your subordinates identify the critical make or break elements of their job.
6. Deal with Resistance Out in the Open
Invite it, then take it out in the open so that you can easily manage it. This should also be seen as a ”diagnostics” of how things are currently running. If you’re not happy with the results, it’s always not your subordinates or those below you. So you need to ask yourself what you are doing wrong and if there’s something you can do to make things better.
Are you the right role model? Is your resistance to change very obvious? Maybe it is time you told higher management that a part of the concept is not responding so well.
You can compare it with your body temperature. If it’s too high, then problems will occur. If it’s too low, then it means the department is too complacent to adopt to change.
7. Encourage them to Take Initiatives
Never allow people to depend entirely on you. Instead, let them get out of their fears and start thinking outside the box. If possible, tell them that you will most likely be tolerant to mistakes as opposed to inertia. In other words, tell them that you don’t expect them to work to perfection, but you want them to think independently, take action on their own and work things around without waiting for orders.
8. The Environment
People respond to change well when the environment is willing to let them do so. If they feel supported, they will be encouraged to take initiatives, risks and be willing to try out new ideas.
On the other hand, if they feel threatened, they will be overcome by insecurity and vulnerability. Consequently, they are likely to fail. This means that you can focus on shaping their behavior instead of grading it. Rather than being a judge, you need to be a coach.
You could even give people under your leadership positive enforcement whenever they are moving in the right direction. Don’t wait for them to perfect what they are doing — or else they will lose momentum.
Ken Blanchard once said that you need to catch people doing things correctly. So remember that there’s an element of recognizing and psychologically rewarding any positive progress they make.
9. Be Ready to Communicate and Listen
You need to stay in touch with people working under you to keep their momentum in check. It’s likely that the regular communication channels won’t be so effective when change is taking place, so you need to always rely on the ever efficient rumor mills since they will always be hungrier for critical answers and information.
Therefore, ensure you provide them with several channels of communication to make it easier for them to reach you. Then you should carefully listen to them.
Be available to them, ask questions and gain insights from the people in times of change. You can make it clear that you are easily accessible without explicitly stating that fact. Bottom line is this — don’t be vague, always be precise on what you say.
10. A Positive Attitude
When bringing change, be prepared of the fact that it will be stressful, confusing and even aggravating. Despite the circumstances, you need to maintain a positive attitude throughout the course. This is just a test of your emotional resilience and nothing much.
If you follow this change management checklist, you will see that your organization will go through changes in an easier and more efficient manner.
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.