As the new year begins, this is a good time to reflect on what’s gone well in your business and what’s changed. If you implemented any major organisational changes last year, consider whether everything went to plan. Were there any positive effects on the business and your people? Did you achieve the change you sought to achieve?
If you are thinking of implementing change in your business in 2020, then do you have a clear picture of what and how this can be achieved? Before you initiate any type of transformation in your business or organisation, it’s important to have the right people on board, as well as a sound plan and process in place.
In our previous article, What Happens When You Don’t Manage Change?, we looked at the issues that can arise when change is not managed effectively. In this article, we have extracted key steps from the transformational change checklist produced by Kotter in 1995, as well as our own collaborative model.
Step 1: Assessing the Climate for Change – steps for managing change
Once you have identified the purpose of the change and evaluated this from a strategic perspective, it’s important to check whether you are ready as an organisation to implement the transformation. Consider the timescales you have allowed for the process and how this will impact every area of your organisation, both positively and negatively. If you want to achieve sustainable change, then it is key that all possible outcomes are assessed from the outset.
Step 2: Building a Change Team
A clearly defined change team with a designated project lead will enable you to deliver the transformation more successfully. The people in your team will be crucial to the way in which change is delivered to your organisation. Who you choose to be in your team will depend on the overall objectives. Create a collaborative environment where each team member feels able to contribute. Give your team a voice; when people feel able to give and receive feedback freely, this will lead to better communication and delivery.
Step 3: Consider Your Culture and Vision – steps for managing change
Once you have built your change team, you may have to create buy in from the wider organisation. Create a clear vision of how the transformation will look and utilise people’s strengths from across your organisation. When people are able to share their skills, experiences and knowledge, this will lead to a more supportive and positive environment. Give people a sense of choice and the ability to contribute to the change, and you will see greater unity within your organisational culture.
Step 4: Communicate and Engage
Throughout your change process, ensuring honest, clear and open communication is vital, as well as maintaining good working relationships across the business. Your change team may choose to encourage new behaviours across your organisation in order to sustain the transformation. Depending on the nature of the change, it might be an opportunity to galvanise the creativity of certain teams or departments, or to explore new areas of innovation.
Step 5: Celebrate Successes – steps for managing change
As your change is being rolled out, it’s important to spot any short-term wins where clear improvements can already be seen as a result of the transformation. You may need to make continuous improvements to your change management plans to keep the process on track and aligned to your strategy and main objectives. Give your people the chance to become ‘change champions’, so they can enjoy the rewards and recognition of being involved with the facilitation of a major transformation in your organisation.
By using a joined-up approach, your organisation will enjoy a smoother and more sustainable outcome. The key to successful organisational change is having the ability to recognise and connect any differences in behaviours brought about by the change and to respond accordingly. Be ready to make continuous improvements and adjust any developments to ensure a seamless transition.
When we initiate a change journey with our clients, our focus is on managing your business relationships by having open-minded conversations and a collaborative approach. Our aim is to help you facilitate a positive and successful change for your business. We offer an expert, open minded perspective with an impartial view in the form of external facilitation.
If you would like to find out more about how we can work together collaboratively, then please get in touch.