Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Change Management: What to Do If You Are Serious

a man breaks through a barrier with a sledge hammer

No one said that change was easy.  But did anyone who ever undertook change realize how very difficult it could be?

In some respects it is better not to have the whole picture...like that knee operation your doctor recommended. You were convinced you would have far more mobility once you healed and you looked forward to hiking those trails again. But if you had known how much pain there would be in the interim and how long the physical therapy would be, you might not have followed through with the surgery.

And so it can be with major organizational change. Even with a compelling business reason for the change, it will be challenging. If you are truly serious about organizational change and really want to break down the barriers to implementing new ways successfully for the long-term, you need to be prepared to endure some pain and be rigorous about tracking and reinforcing progress.  When organizational change has truly been achieved, it will seem so natural that you will almost forget what it was like before…just the way you forgot how long it took to climb the stairs before your operation.

This is the warning we give all our clients who look to us for our expertise in change management consulting. Major organizational change is not easy. But experienced change leaders know what it takes. Here are three critical success factors:

  1. CommunicationEmployees need to fully understand what is in it for them and the company. How will the change improve their situation…as individuals, as a team and as an organization? The goal of the change and the rationale for the change needs to be clear, compelling and reiterated often so the work force keeps their eye on the prize.
  2. CommitmentCommitment to the change needs to be at the highest level. Each and every leader needs to be involved in the process…as coaches and models of the new behaviors required to effect the change.
  3. ConsistencyChange should be considered for the long-term. It will take time and consistent effort to achieve. Make sure that any new hires, especially at the executive level, support the change even as it takes hold.


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