There is an old cliché that says the only thing that is constant is change. I’m here to tell you that this is the truth – both for you and your business. Companies undergo several changes on the path to success, such as growth, hiring spurts, layoffs, adding new products, discontinuation of products, relocation and changes in leadership.
While you can’t stop change, you can learn how to approach and manage it like a pro. The process of managing change takes continuous effort by all members of the organization. Here is how to prepare yourself.
Change for change’s sake
Some people hear the word “change” and run for the hills, while others welcome it with open arms. Not all change is good and not all change is bad. However, change just for the sake of saying “we changed” is a terrible waste of time, money and other resources. Today’s organizations and business leaders are faced with an accelerated expectation of change and are expected to meet these changes at the speed of light. The first step to effectively managing change is to make sure the change is necessary to your business’s future.
Leading through changeBusiness leaders must know not only how to manage change for themselves but for their organization and individual team members. Change will look and feel different for individual employees at different times but if you can effectively lead the change process, everyone should be on the same page in the end.
Before a major change, front line supervisors and leaders should take the “temperature” of their organization, including individuals on their team. Through rapid change initiatives, members of your organization will be at different stages of change and acceptance at different times. It is ultimately up to the leader to help their team members all end up in the same positive place. This can be done by:
Telling people how they should or should not feel is never a great idea in a change process as it only creates more resistance and stalls the process even longer. Give your employees the time and space to come to terms with change.
Build a coalition of change agentsA coalition of change agents can act as advocates for change and help more resistant employees move through the process. The coalition of change agents are responsible for:
This guiding coalition will be responsible for restating the vision and strategy handed down from senior leadership while working together as a diverse and influential team.
Selecting the wrong coalition will lead to the wrong results. The wrong results leads to failed change efforts and failed change efforts can compromise the future of your business. The guiding coalition will help guide the overall organization’s vision and strategy, and not just one particular individual or metric.
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