Change and growth are intrinsically linked. If you want your company to grow, your employees must first learn how to adapt to change.
Leaders seek organizational stability in line with this philosophy, so they can reward shareholders with a steady return on investment. This was once easily achieved, but the ever-changing nature of business landscapes has blown any certainty out the window.
Though there was once a level of comfort, more industries than ever before are facing the pressures of global competition. This forces companies to be innovative and evolve to differentiate from the rest.
This has led to organizations focusing on change, when this was once something which was commonly avoided. Successful companies are capable of establishing a culture of continuous development, one which embraces major transformations as part of the cultural norm.
To succeed, organizations must execute a strategic plan of action, in accordance with understanding human behavior.
It’s common for people to naturally resist change, but if you can align your change with company culture, and promote the beneficial aspects of change processes, you’ll be one step closer to achieving desirable results.
Plans fail to capture value by themselves, where what’s more important is the attitude of your team. Ultimately, it is the people in your organization who drive change.
They’re the ones who will constantly execute change initiatives, while embracing the new environment you’ve created.
For long-term change to be successful, factors like magnitude, scale, and duration should be considered, but what’s most important is you consider how your team will react. You’ll want a workforce who is inspired by change, and who unites together to embrace it.
This requires an elite management of changes organization-wide, appreciating the individual differences that make your business unique.
There isn’t a one size-fits-all approach for management of changes, but what you can do is adapt different practices and techniques relevant to your own situation.
If you’re intrigued to learn more about the effective management of changes, you’ll be excited by the following principles of change management. These should be used to form your own framework, which will prioritize engaging the entire organization.
The Human Side
An aspect of change which is often neglected is how people react to it. What’s significant about the human side of change is the people issues that are generated as a result. People are required to step into new capabilities, jobs change, and new skills are required.
This collectively creates a level of resistance and uncertainty, where anything which sways from conventionality can cause internal issues. You should develop a strategic approach for the management of changes, one which is readily adaptable to changing circumstances.
You should engage critical stakeholders, while focusing on reworking strategy, processes, and systems. Once your change-management philosophy is fully embedded in company culture, it will influence decision-making while enabling an influential strategic direction.
This can be based around your organization’s capacity and readiness to change.
For a great way to address the human side of change, why not try one of these great exercises!
Because change is naturally unnerving, staff will commonly look to leadership for direction and guidance. They will seek strength from leaders, especially when they’re visibly committed to change initiatives.
Leaders should be the first to embrace change, and willing to motivate the rest of your team to do the same. They should promote the importance of change, and appreciate everyone needs time to adjust. As a model of desirable behaviors, leaders should stand as the public face of unity which everyone should follow.
When staff are going through stressful times, leaders should be on hand to relate to individual issues, and reassure staff everything will work out just fine. As the model for change, leaders can more effectively influence a change culture which starts at the top.
Change initiatives will affect different parts of your organization in different ways. With so much to consider, it’s important you involve everyone who will be affected by change.
The idea is for change to cascade through your organization, influencing every layer from the top down. This begins with identifying change leaders, who should understand their specific mission and be inspired to make change happen.
Involving everyone with a cascading leadership approach is centered on involving everyone at each individual stage of proceedings.
For example, you would start with a select few change drivers for delivering a strategy, vision, and goals. Next, you would identify a slightly larger team to design most of the change initiative.
Finally, the multitude of employees responsible for executing the change are involved, from which point your change initiative can be fully implemented.
With a splintered structure which eventually involves all stakeholders, you can more effectively regiment change. Not only this, but there is a great opportunity to identify your next generation of leaders, encouraging a culture of continuous improvement and development.
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.