March Madness may be over, but the NBA playoffs, which started this week, are sure to bring a couple of surprises. With the season winding down and the finest 16 teams solidified, one thing is clear. All these teams have had to overcome odds and changes to make it this far. What lessons can change leaders borrow from these teams toward effecting change management in their own organizations?
1. Communication is Key
In the game of basketball, good communication is what sets a winning team ahead of the rest. Players need to have good communication among themselves during practice and at the game. Likewise, the management needs to maintain good communication with the players. In much the same way, our organizations need to practice good communication strategies when effecting change management.
Change managers want to provide all employees with regular updates (on change) at team meetings. By doing this, you are better able to maintain harmony at the workplace. Most importantly, you are able to bring everyone on-board, ready to fight for the common goal of the change.
2. Be Prepared to Overcome Setbacks
A setback is an event that impedes change. Like in the game of basketball, teams have to overcome injuries to important players, sometimes trades or new player signings, losing streaks etc. How do they do this? Through proper leadership and team unity. These have mastered the art of focusing on long-term goals. By doing this they are able to move past these obstacles. Likewise, organizations often have to contend with seasonal setbacks.
In that regard, change managers need to provide sober leadership. Most importantly, everyone (who is affected by the setback) needs to work hard to ensure team unity. Where these setbacks involve a loss, be sure to find someone to replace the loss.
3. Motivation is an Essential Part of Change Management
Ask any NBA player (current or former) and they’ll tell you that motivation is what keeps (or kept) them going. Let’s face it, sometimes things just go wrong and it can be easy for some people to start feeling as if there is no point in their work. Despair, is the last thing you want to happen to anyone who is part of the change. When the going is tough, change leaders need to take up the challenge of bolstering people’s spirits and help them believe that tough times will end and things will get better.
4. Leading by Example
Keeping an organization from despair and de-motivation isn’t enough to help them overcome changes. If you want you want your team to produce high-quality results, you need to lead the pack by demonstrating motivation and passion. This is precisely what team managers of top-NBA teams do. They set the tone by demonstrating their own passion for the game. That is pretty much what you need to do in your organization to help everyone overcome change.
By encouraging all players to do their best, they end up with a solid team that is committed to achieving only one thing – winning. You need to adopt this simple philosophy as well to help your organization overcome ripples caused by change.
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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.