Last week, I wrote a blog about how change is changing. Recently Ron Ashkenas, author and internationally recognized consultant, wrote an article supporting the need for change to change. It’s no secret that many change initiatives meet with failure although the 70% failure rate has been brought under suspicion in a study by Mark Hughes, Professor at Brighton Business School. That is not to say that change is easy. Indeed, it is not and organizations and changing them is complex and difficult, and many efforts do meet with failure. There is an antidote that can, at the very least, alleviate many headaches of the change process.
Human Resources has a one word antidote that, while it can’t guarantee success, without it you are doomed to failure; that word is document, document, document. Change too has a word that while not guaranteeing success, can make all the difference in the world between success and failure; that word is prepare, prepare, prepare.
Once a decision has been made for the change in the form of growth, merger, or ownership, don’t try to hide the decision.
Communication: Communicating the decision for the change and why it’s necessary will go a long way to bringing people on board and even build excitement. People can even understand that you cannot tell them every detail, but knowing that they will be kept in the loop goes a long way to reducing the rumor mill, fear, and low morale.
Getting the Team on the Same Page: Everyone needs to be on the same page about the organization’s values and direction. In addition, everyone needs to know and buy into the why of the change. What’s the common language you use to describe those elements? Do not neglect looking at what is in the change for each team members as well as their own personal goals.
Training: Hold training programs on change and how to better handle it. In addition, programs on change management will go a long way in helping the organization implement and sustain the change program.
The Process: There must be a step by step process or model to follow to keep everyone on track and to sustain the change. While there is a plethora of models, John Kotter, founder of Kotter International, has a classic and easy to follow process. His eight-step model establishes all the criteria needed to make change work. The website Leadership Thoughts provides the reasons this model works so well. The eight-step model…
- Creates the climate for change
- Engages and enables the entire organization
- Implements and sustains the change
Strategic Plan: Your strategic plan is a guide as well. Every task, every project, and every goal must be tied into this plan. Joining the eight-step model and your strategic plan is a marriage made in heaven.
So, while change can be difficult and while even change is changing, you have the tools to make change work and provide the results your organization needs to grow your bottom line.
Graphic Credit: BigStock.com
Graphic Change Results happy woman & people behind her