While the executive vision and support, clearly communicated, is important, it is not enough. More fundamental approaches to planning and analysis need to occur to encourage effective change management.
- Assess the readiness of your organization to participate in the change. Instruments are available to help you assess readiness, as well as qualitative information from internal or external staff and consultants. Answer questions such as these. What is the level of trust within your organization? Do people feel generally positive about their work environment. Do you have a history of open communication? Do you share financial information?
These factors have a tremendous impact on peoples acceptance of and willingness to change. If you can start building this positive and supportive environment prior to the change, you have a great head start on the change implementation.
- Turn the change vision into an overall plan and timeline, and plan to practice forgiveness when the timeline encounters barriers. Solicit input to the plan from people who own or work on the processes that are changing.
- Gather information about and determine ways to communicate the reasons for the changes. These may include the changing economic environment, customer needs and expectations, vendor capabilities, government regulations, population demographics, financial considerations, resource availability and company direction.
- Assess each potential impact to organization processes, systems, customers and staff. Assess the risks and have a specific improvement or mitigation plan developed for each risk.
- Plan the communication of the change. People have to understand the context, the reasons for the change, the plan and the organizations clear expectations for their changed roles and responsibilities. Nothing communicates expectations better than improved measurements and rewards and recognition.
- Determine the WIIFM (whats in it for me) of the change for each individual in your organization. Work on how the change will affect each individual directly, and how to make the change fit his or her needs as well as those of the organization.
- Some respondents found the development of a theoretical underpinning for the change effective in helping individuals understand the need for change.
- Be honest and worthy of trust. Treat people with the same respect you expect from them.
Effective change management can help you successfully implement any change necessary for your future prosperity and profitability.
More Information About Change Management
- Change, Change, Change: Change Management Lessons From the Field
- Executive Support and Leadership in Change Management
- Planning and Analysis in Change Management
- Communication in Change Management
- Change Management Lessons About Employee Involvement
- Build Support for Effective Change Management
- Change Management Tips
- Change Management Wisdom