In today’s rapidly advancing business environment, companies need to continually expand their horizons to remain competitive.
It’s important you make a concerted effort to learn change management in 2018, and explore different methods to achieve this.
They must develop adaptive capabilities, and be proactively prepared for the overwhelming pressure and challenges change presents.
Without a change management policy in place, companies can struggle to adapt to current times. An organized plan of action helps businesses safeguard against unpredictability and uncertainty.
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Organizations need to be flexible, and give serious attention to their change management policy. This should involve various stakeholders, and facilitate a meaningful transition into a better way of doing things.
Change involves innovation, developing talent, and achieving excellence across the board. This is of course in an ideal world, but more often than not change strategies fail.
But why exactly is that?
Why Does Organizational Change Fail?
Have you ever been in a position where something threatened your status quo? How did you respond?
Generally speaking, the most instinctive response to anything unsettling is rejection and fear. It is in our nature to resist what we’ve grown comfortable with, because we’re creatures of familiarity and comfort.
This can be explained from a neuroscientific perspective, where our brains are hardwired to compare anything that’s new with things we’ve experienced previously.
This comparison process takes up a lot of energy, and it is the associated mental fatigue which makes us more fearful. This explains why change management policy commonly fails.
Building commitment to change is challenging, but a great place to start is by identifying common mistakes. This will enable you to implement measures to counteract errors, or perhaps avoid them altogether.
Remember the negative influence of failing to make change fun. Implement fun change exercises to increase participation and engagement.
Lack of Sponsorship from Executives
Leaders need to be change champions for initiatives to gather traction. Otherwise, staff might easily neglect the importance of change.
When employees see passionate support for a new procedure or process, they’re more likely to embrace change.
Other motivational factors involve addressing the ‘what’s in it for me?’ principle. If staff realize how they’ll benefit from change, they’ll be incentivized to embrace it with open arms.
Leaders must set an example, and if anything over-communicate change advantages. They should respond to staff concerns, as a reassuring voice that’s willing to incorporate staff feedback.
When a two-way dialogue has been created, your team will feel actively involved, reducing the disillusion that’s associated with poor change management.
If change leaders don’t have the prerequisite skills necessary to implement change, does your organization really stand a chance?
Leaders are at the helm of change initiatives, and are responsible for preventing, solving, or even creating problems.
Something I learnt from an @inspiredmedics conference: Sometimes we place too much emphasis on titles and place unnecessary limitations on what we can do, where we can go and what we should say. “Leadership is about attitude”!
— Tara Humphrey (@THConsulting_) September 2, 2018
Too often people are thrown into change leadership roles and are immediately out of their depth. You can have the best change management policy in the world, but it will fall flat without proper guidance.
Leadership development is a crucial aspect of change management, where you should continually equip future leaders with the skills they need to execute your vision.
Whether you send them on a course or train them in-house, this is a worthwhile investment where you’ll definitely receive a return on investment.
Planning should always be the first stage. If you dive in head first you’ll be setting yourself up for failure.
A great foundation for your plan is to clearly define organizational roles. You can then devise action for stakeholder engagement and communication, before implementing a timeline for success and allocating resources.
You should finally determine how you can integrate initiatives for maximum effect. By covering all bases, you can safeguard against eventual failure.
Limited Access to Resources
Too often organizations initiate change strategies without the correct infrastructure in place.
This is a recipe for disaster, especially when companies want change initiatives to be sustainable. Before change can be implemented successfully, it is vital you have the resources necessary to transform processes.
A proactive adoption of change needs so much more than a vision. It needs to be tested, refined, and reinforced.
This is more expensive than most organizations realize, so a failure to plan for the resources you’ll need will result in you failing to realize your ambitions.
What Will Make Your Change Management Policy A Success?
Implement a change strategy that plays to your organizational strengths. Never overestimate, and focus on concrete wins.
Ensure your expectations align with likely results. There should be a close link between what you expect to happen, and what will actually happen.
Compelling Case for Change
Demonstrate a genuine need for change, with no clear incentive to stay with the status quo.
Identify clear and concise change requirements. Once established, these should never be compromised.
Mobilizing Critical Stakeholders
Empower internal influencers to champion change. Engage staff by being receptive to their feedback, creating open communication channels for them to voice concerns.
You’ll be most successful with a clear value proposition, and when staff can contribute to change initiatives. To widen their understanding of change, consider instilling these great tools and techniques.
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.