Leading and managing organisational change is not straightforward, but will be more successful if you apply a few simple principles.
Change management entails thoughtful planning and sensitive implementation, and above all, consultation with, and involvement of, the people affected by the changes.
Forcing change on people inevitably leads to insecurity, resistance and complications when attempting to implement. ‘Selling’ change to people is not a sustainable strategy for success, unless it is accompanied by other techniques that enable change to be understood and managed in a way that people can cope effectively with it.
When initiating a change project, leaders should ask themselves and stakeholders a series of questions which will aid making the change and optimising the benefits that can be realised from it. Essential questions such as:
- What do we want to achieve with this change?
- Why are we making this change?
- How will we know that the change has been achieved?
- Who is affected by this change?
- How will those people react to it?
- How much of this change can we achieve ourselves, and:
- What parts of the change do we need help with?
As managers we always need to check that people affected by the change agree with, or at least understand, the need for change, and have a chance to decide how the change will be managed, and to be involved its planning and implementation.
Following these few rules doesn’t always come naturally, yet isn’t actually “rocket science”. Often it’s as simple as considering how uncomfortable we can feel ourselves when someone tries to tell us we need to do something differently. Our workforces will feel similarly and make it hard for us, unless we consider their feelings and apply a little emotional intelligence.
This article was inspired by and includes contributions from businessballs.com