Change management is changing as fast as the economy – in this list of change management tips and tricks, we’ve collected a list perfect for the digital age.
By following this list, you’ll be able to create a program that is sophisticated and well-structured.
And, as we’ll see at the end, these are the types of change management programs that get the best results.
Change Management Tips and Tricks for the Digital Age
Without further ado, let’s get started.
1. Study the classics but keep your digital edge
Change management models are a must.
Chances are, you know of the Lewin model or ADKAR – or ITIL if you are in ITSM – but if not, do some catch up reading.
These classics are must-reads, offering a sound foundation for today’s change management professional.
Build upon these classics with modern business approaches that fit your company culture.
Kaizen, lean, agile, venture design … these are a few of the process models that can improve your change management process.
2. Make urgency and benefits central to your message
Creating a sense of urgency is the first step in Kotter’s 8-step model.
And for good reason – this sense of urgency is a necessary foundation for any successful program.
However, another crucial element is the big benefit.
Assess everyone who will be involved in your program. Then ask how they will benefit.
From the executive to the clerk, make these benefits a central part of your message.
3. Build benefits right into your program
Executives want business benefits and employees want career benefits.
To make both parties happy, build a program that achieves both.
Create a program that solves a business problem, while also aiding employee career growth.
4. Make your case, get sponsorship
One of the biggest causes of program failure is lack of executive sponsorship.
Without it, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle.
Make this a top priority, by building benefits into your program, articulating them clearly, and proactively obtaining support from the top.
5. Communicate, participate, and gain ground-level support
Likewise, ground-level support is another must-have.
Employee resistance can kill a change initiative that’s poorly designed, so start communicating with employees from the outset.
There’s nothing worse than trying to deal with employees who feel besieged, alienated, and unwanted.
By working with them early on, you can discover ways to support their growth, so they’ll support yours.
6. Move fast and be agile
Speed is the ultimate weapon in today’s economy.
Fast-moving businesses gain market share, and one way they do that is through fast-paced change programs.
Transformation that takes too long ends up losing out on its proposed benefits.
Also, programs should be able to react to changes as they arise. This will help them land closer to targets, optimize on the fly, and adapt to changing circumstances.
7. Remember: innovation is the cornerstone of competitiveness
Innovation, creativity, and disruption aren’t just buzzwords – they’re cornerstones of successful companies.
They should also be the cornerstone of any business change.
From digital transformation to product development, innovators are the ones who outmaneuver competitors and thrive in the marketplace.
Make innovation a hallmark of your change program – and your workplace culture – and you’ll invite nothing but success.
8. Technology fuels today’s economy … it should also fuel your change initiative
Don’t be afraid of digital technology, embrace it.
If you just “scrape by” or “use” it then you’ll be leaving money on the table.
Technology can drastically improve your results, so seriously consider using:
- Project management software
- Digital adoption platforms
- Onboarding and training software
9. Don’t just get feedback, make it a central part of your program optimization process
If you don’t have an optimization strategy in place, it’s a good idea to create one.
And that process should be built on feedback, data, and analytics.
By regularly learning from employees, executives, and customers, you can generate better results that are more relevant, more profitable, and more valuable.
10. Change leaders should stay visible and champion change
Change leaders should be leaders, not just talking heads.
Research has found that change leaders, or champions, have a significant impact on success rates.
The more involved leaders are, the more they can direct programs, and the more that employees feel connected to the change initiative.
One study by Google found that the most successful change programs are sophisticated and well-structured.
The same study found that unsuccessful programs are, almost without exception, unstructured, unsophisticated, or non-existent.
When designing and selling your change program, it’s important to remember that success isn’t guaranteed. Though a program may be costly, the costs of failure are higher, so it pays to create a sophisticated program.
Also, note that success isn’t simply a yes-or-no proposition.
Typically, programs have a series of targets. Programs then achieve a measure of success, either falling short of or exceeding those targets.
In worst case scenarios, of course, a program may fail completely, reverting back to its previous methods.
The goal for any change manager is to exceed any and all objectives, and the best way to do this is through a sophisticated, well-structured change program.
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