Change management within organisations is a structured process that results in greater buy-in and commitment to the change and ensures full realisation of the expected business benefits.
It is undoubtedly a challenge to implement major organisational change successfully for any project whether it is the development of new processes or the introduction of new technology. This is where change management comes in.
Change is frequently unwelcome and sometime actively resisted when those affected do not understand the opportunities that the change presents.
For a more positive outcome for your major organisational change take a look at these 5 expert tips from change management consultants who specialise in guiding organisations through complex change.
Communicate the vision
If you cannot articulate the ultimate objective and vision of the change then it will always be difficult to enthuse employees and gain their active support in implementing the changes. Make sure your message clearly explains the benefits. Of course, there may be adjustments along the way, as there are in any project, but by focusing on the vision and regularly communicating that vision to those affected you can ensure everyone is moving positively in the same direction.
Effective communication is the Holy Grail of every project and even more so when a project involves complex organisational change. But don’t lose sight of the fact that communication should be a two-way process. It is not simply about getting your message across but also about listening to the concerns and fears of those affected. And, of course, actively working to address the concerns and allay the fears. So, listen to what people have to say – their opinions matter if the project is to be a success. Also actively seek opinions, especially from those who are typically less vocal – you might gain added insight that you had not considered.
Choose your team carefully
Objections to change (and even resistance to change) can be valuable as they force an organisation to view the proposed change from a different perspective and may reveal issues that had not been anticipated. However, in order to successfully implement change you need a team around you that is enthusiastic and motivated to ensure it is implemented successfully. So work with the people who understand the business objectives and share your vision of how the future will be better.
Be prepared to compromise
No organisational change can happen without an impact to the status quo – that’s a given. But exactly how the change impacts certain parts of the company needs to be up for discussion. Once you have communicated your vision, listened to the opinions of those around you and put in place a motivated team, then you need to ensure you don’t rigidly force through the change plan. If, as the project progresses, it becomes obvious that the impact is greater than anticipated, or has some unexpected negative effects, then you need to be prepared to compromise on your vision. That doesn’t mean losing sight of the business goals but it may mean adjusting certain factors to keep everyone on side and deliver a successful outcome.
Focus on the people
Technology is always at the heart of organisational change but it is people who will make the change happen and embrace the new status quo (or not). Make sure you equip them with the facilitation skills they need to personally benefit from the change. Developing new skills and capabilities through training and coaching is highly motivating and has a positive and very personal impact on the working environment. Consider small focus groups, workshops and more formal facilitation skills training to ensure everyone reaps the benefits of change.