No matter what type of organization you are leading, change management is essential. This is especially true in 2016 – as a state of constant change has become the needed norm for businesses to stay competitive. This makes a robust and fully implemented change management plan imperative for businesses looking to stay at the forefront of nearly every industry.
A change management strategy should fully address:
- The scope of the change: How large is the change? Has the company experienced a change of this scope previously?
- The external and internal groups impacted: Who is managing the change, and who are the other key team members? How does this change affect internal and external stakeholders?
- Discussion and planning regarding anticipated resistance: Are there pain-points that can be predicted, and how can those be addressed?
Based on the information gathered and the strategy selected, a comprehensive plan for change management can be created to govern all aspects of the change and to reinforce the strategy as well as the importance of the change for all stakeholders. Effective change management involves employees at all levels of the company, fostering trust and creating a feeling of “buying into” the change on the part of the employees. Requesting this participation when creating the change management strategy reduces the need for resistance management as the change is implemented.
Companies should incorporate ongoing change as a positive cornerstone of their corporate culture and those responsible for change management should take steps to monitor the culture. Tools like staff surveys, small round tables, and larger group meetings can all be useful gages of organizational culture. In order to best position a company to implement quick, successful changes, the “visible” aspects of this culture should ideally be close to the “invisible” truth commonly accepted within the ranks of the employees.
Business requires an endless cycle of assessing areas where innovation is possible, implementing change and change management strategies, analyzing effects of the change on business, and repeating the cycle. To achieve a successful model readiness for continuous change, companies must “empower employees with the tools, techniques, and mindsets that lead to the creation of a new organizational capability in change for the organization,” and managers must set the pace and tone, understanding that in 2016, change is THE tool moving business forward.
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