How to manage changes

 In Change Management

How to manage changes

coursedetailsWhat is Change Management?

Management of change draws upon theories from many disciplines including psychology, engineering, and systems thought. There are many models available.

All theories on change management agree that change cannot be achieved in isolation. Change impacts all employees and the entire organisation in some way. However, with effective change management, everyone can adapt and embrace the new way of working.

The Four Principles of Change Management

1. Understanding Change

You must understand the benefits of change in order to promote them successfully. Think about the following:

  • What you should do to make a difference. What are your main objectives?
  • What are the organisational benefits of this change?
  • What will this do for people?
  • What will this mean for the way people work?
  • What are the steps people must take to make this change happen?

2.Plan Change

It is not possible to make a change happen by accident. Any plan that you create must be tailored for your company. Organisations can have different approaches to managing projects. Some organisations have rigid change processes, while others are more flexible and open to change. Consider the following approach

Sponsorship. How can you engage and secure sponsorship and high-level support for the change?

Participation. Will you require external expertise? Or, can you make use of your own resources?

Get involved. You can only make change more effective when you have the support of everyone in your business. What are your plans to do this?

Impact. Think about what success looks like. How can you determine the impact of the changes you are trying to make and how do you assess it? What are your goals?

3. Implement Change

The Change Curve reminds us to be aware of the feelings of others while we put our plans into action. It depicts the stages we go through when we undergo organisational change. From shock and denial to fully committed to the new approach.

4. Communicate Change

Communication is a key component in managing change. You must make sure that the change you are trying to implement is clear and pertinent so that people can understand why it is important. You must also set the right tone to get the desired emotional response.

It is a smart idea to connect the changes you are planning with your organisation’s vision or mission statements. This will help people see how the change will positively impact the “bigger picture” and will provide them with a shared vision of the future.

Good stakeholder management is also a must. This will help you to communicate the right message to the right people at the right time and get the support you need.

What can be done to prevent change?

You can have setbacks even with the best of plans. Be ready for them when they happen. Some people might be pessimistic about what you are planning. You will need to recognise, understand and address any resistance to changing. You will need to recognise and address any resistance to change in your organisation.

Pay close attention to individual changes

Each person goes through a personal transition. This personal transition usually involves three phases.

Letting go: Every transition involves a loss or an end. People often forget what it was like in the past when things change. This can be difficult for people.

Exploration: Also known as the neutral zone, it is a confusing and frustrating period between the old and the new.

Acceptance: Only after the past has been let go and the future explored, can acceptance occur. This phase allows people to let go of their past and begin to identify with the destination.

Management of change is important

Leaders and managers must be open to the possibility that employees will lose something, perhaps as important as their job title or responsibilities. It’s important to show empathy through communication, town hall meetings and one-on-one discussions. It is important to make sure that everyone understands the new rules and what they must do differently in terms of their roles, behaviours, responsibilities, and processes. Managers must be prepared to guide people through this transition, and provide clarity when needed. Different people will reach the final transition at different times. It is important to provide many opportunities for people to share their knowledge and to discuss it. This cannot be a one-and-done approach.

Summary

This same process is experienced by executives who lead change and are directly affected by it. Leaders are often uncomfortable sharing their vulnerabilities about change with their employees. Nothing is more powerful than a leader who is committed to making positive changes in his/her life and sharing his/her personal experiences.

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