Organizational change management strategies are numerous and various, and to try to pick one unified, pre-designed strategy that works for everyone is going to be impossible. The problem is that every organization has a different philosophy, set of interpersonal relationships, corporate culture and … I guess the best word to describe it would be texture for how to affect change without stalling the system or meeting with too much resistance.
This means that all in all, you’ll have to likely pick and mix various organizational change management strategies that work well with your environment, and use these to form a comprehensive plan that’ll actually work for your situation.
Previously, we showed an example of a basic conceptual plan, and the different dimensions that a plan, no matter what plan it may be, must address to be effective. Now, let’s enhance this a tad, and talk about some tips for formulating a plan that works.
#1 – Personal Relationships Matter
In our example of addressing the dimensions of change management planning, I very, very briefly alluded to this, but let’s take a moment to actually think about this, because it’s a big one. Like I said then, it’s never a good idea to use a proxy for training nor for coaching individuals or groups on change that is being put into place.
This means that using an outsider, or a member of the local team in your place, so you can be everywhere at once, won’t work. Change is an unnerving and difficult thing even for flexible employees. In order for them to be not only receptive but confident in the changes you are asking them to embrace, you must have a strong bond, wherein they respect and trust you, and will then interpret your coaching and training positively.
The thing to walk away with from this is that you need to cultivate these close relationships both with the teams and the units that comprise them. You must not only be the guy instructing them, but their friend as well.
#2 – Proactivity With Resistors
Resistance is inevitable, as some people don’t like to be shaken from their routine, or drawn out of their comfort zones. While a lot of plans promote an almost entirely reactive strategy for this, I would recommend being proactive where you can.
When addressing your groups initially, you’ll want to try to head detractors off at the pass if possible, so you can sell them on why it’s worth it to implement the changes, and how, despite the uneasy discomfort it may bring about for them, show them that it will actually make their lives easier or more productive.
#3 – Frequent Communication
Frequent communication is absolutely mandatory. This is in many directions. The managers being affected, the sponsors supporting the change, and the individuals being trained and coached for the changes all need not only to have frequent access to communicate their concerns and queries to you, but communication between these people directly is also important.
The left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing can be dangerous.
These are just the big things to consider when formulating your organizational change management strategies. I know it may be hard to imagine that, given all the logistics and planning sciences involved in this but those are all things everyone has a grip on. These human interests, however, are the things where real strategy and new thinking are always needed.
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.