How Do You Define Change Management? The Best Approaches

How Do You Define Change Management? The Best Approaches
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Change can be viewed from many different perspectives. Though some would deem the prospect of change as exciting, others might view it as a threat to the status quo.

This challenge provides extra motivation for change management, and is perhaps the biggest motivation for managing change. When businesses are looking to transform processes, they usually do so with a view to the long term.

For long term acceptance, where change becomes part of the new status quo, it’s essential for organizations to cultivate acceptance and support organization-wide. This is mandatory whether it’s a big or small change, underlining the importance of people as the biggest determinants of change.

If you had to define change management, it can be described as the tools, processes, and techniques involved in managing people.

As the drivers of change, you’ll need to influence the attitudes of your staff to achieve a desired outcome.

This will usually occur through an adaptation process, where staff are encouraged to adopt new mindsets, and alter their behavior to adhere to new standards.

The process of change should be flexibly adjustable to evolving circumstances, and staff should be willing and ready to embrace change at their core.

It is difficult to define change management exactly, because without sounding too cliche it really is different for everybody. The main priority is to receive full sponsorship from stakeholders, who should be fully on board and committed to success.

Rather than trying to define change management, you’ll be better off considering these best practices and tailoring them to your individual requirements:

Define Change Management Best Practices

By following a comprehensive change management strategy, you’ll be positioned for optimal success. What’s most important is you align your practices with your company vision, while ensuring your team has an open mindset to accommodate and embrace new initiatives.

You must overcome the challenges which are thrown your way, while making sure stakeholders appreciate how change will affect their daily duties.

Before we get to some change management practices you can incorporate within your strategy, check out these great tools!

Planning

Organizations often implement change without any rhyme or reason, which can contribute to a messy roll out. Rather than taking an uninformed approach, your best bet is to visualize your end goal and optimistically execute your vision.

With a clear direction in mind, you can document the tasks necessary to accomplish goals, and outline who will be responsible for what. In the early planning stages, your change strategy will begin to make sense, and you’ll have a clearly defined route to transition.

Leadership Roles

Your change projects will require leaders who can advocate change across the board. These should be change champions who actively promote the importance of change, leading initiatives from the top down.

Your leaders will be responsible for maintaining a stable process, while showing a vigorous commitment to the cause. If staff observe leaders are passionate about change, they’ll be more likely to follow their lead. This is especially true when leaders make a conscious effort to engage and involve staff every step of the way.

Governance

Without a clearly defined governance, your project can fall through when it doesn’t meet pre-approved standards. Your governance will serve as a framework for decision making, which revolves around a set of processes.

To ensure stakeholders are kept on side, you should define roles and responsibilities at every level of your organization.

This will ensure your staff stay on track, and that everyone understands what’s required of them.

Keeping stakeholders engaged is a top priority, and the best way to achieve this is by clearly communicating their role in the change.

Keep Stakeholders Engaged

As previously touched on, this is critical if you want to regiment change as the new norm. Stakeholders should not only be actively involved, but should be readily informed about changing circumstances.

By maintaining open lines of communication, stakeholders will be motivated to work in accordance with change objectives. They should also be encouraged to contribute feedback, which you can incorporate to modify your strategies.

Real time feedback is a great way to stay up-to-speed, and by keeping your team in the loop they’ll be keen to contribute to change outcomes. If staff are made to feel as if they’re being kept in the dark, they’ll feel dejected and uninvolved. This will make it less likely they embrace change with open arms.

Resentment is inevitable if people don’t understand what’s happening, or if they’re not given a chance to voice their concerns. A little bit of information and understanding will go a long way.

If you’re looking to secure engagement, give one of these games a try.

Assess and Review

Monitor your change initiatives as they happen, implementing measures to judge their success. If you find a direct link between new behaviors and productivity, you should encourage staff to focus on new behaviors through rewards and incentives.

You’ll also identify costly mistakes which are best avoided, correcting and eradicating issues before they lead to adverse outcomes. Utilize feedback to make corrections, eliminating issues while encouraging beneficial practices.

Christopher Smith
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.
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