The Key Steps to Successful Change Management
Organisational change is never easy. People tend to get used to the status quo and often resist any attempt to implement change. It is much easier to stick to the old ways and do things as they have always been done.
If you want to break the mould and create new ways, you’ll also need a lot of patience, since effective change takes time to implement. You can’t introduce new patterns to workers and expect them to adopt the new ways overnight.
However, there are some fundamental principles that can be applied to facilitate the introduction of change and make it more likely to succeed.
The following are key steps to promote successful organisational change.
Make change a habit
It seems that by default, humans are built to resist change. But in the rapidly changing global economy of today, change is unavoidable. Economies change faster than ever before, and to stay competitive, organisations must keep up with this change.
Because of this, organisational change is an on-going process that never comes to an end. Once a particular change has been implemented successfully, it becomes necessary to introduce change in another area. Every time other players in the global economy implement successful changes, your business is under pressure to follow suit.
Business leaders should learn to welcome change and see it as an essential activity necessary for any organisation to function well. They should begin to look for areas that could use transformation, as opposed to trying to avoid it.
When you introduce changes and see them being implemented successfully, make sure to applaud and reward those that are responsible for this success. You can have a simple reward system in place.
Most organisations do not have a good reward system, and if they do, it’s rarely engineered to promote change. So, create a reward system and ensure that it supports the change that you would like to see.
Also, since organisational change must happen at the collective level if it is to succeed, don’t just focus on rewarding individuals. Realise that those individuals could not have achieved the changes without the support of others and make sure you recognise them too.
Work with what’s already there
If you are trying to foster a new idea or cultural behaviour in your organisation, it is best if you can find a way to build this change on an existing foundation. It is easier to develop qualities that are already there, rather than introducing something brand new.
When you are working with qualities that already exist, you will meet with less resistance and those in your organisation will be more eager to work with you in seeing the new change come to light.
Whenever you want to introduce new patterns, examine your organisation and look for traces of the behaviour you want to bring into your business. Then develop those existing strengths instead of creating something totally new.
Create a culture of communication
You can’t bring change to an organisation successfully if your communication structures are poorly developed. So before introducing change, make sure your organisation has a strong culture of communication.
Communication with heads of departments is not enough. Ensure everyone in the organisation is fully aware of the changes that are going on. They will feel valued this way and will resist the changeless. Make use of organisational memos, emails, IRCs, social media platforms and other channels to communicate. Leave no stone untouched.
If you can’t communicate to everyone at once, you can talk to individual departments or groups. This method is better and will have members of the teams working together to implement the changes. You could even start with one team first, watch that team succeed, and then use that team as an example for other teams.
Every individual is expected to drop some patterns to accommodate change, but change will be faster if it can be developed collaboratively. Every individual is affected by their environment and the environment can discourage or encourage change.
To promote organisational change, introduce your new ideas to teams as opposed to individuals. Tell them to support each other in bringing about this change. It is more fun and will help them to encourage each other as they change their ways to suit the organisational change.