The only constant in life is change.
Leaders who view change from a positive perspective acknowledge that although change can create discomfort, the potential benefits that come with change outweigh the costs. Implementing change does come with a price, but these leaders understand that over the long run, remaining stagnant and rigid will be much more costly to an organization.
There are two fundamental types of change that occur in organizations:
- Change that is driven by someone or something.
- Change that occurs naturally.
Leaders must be ready for changes that aren’t under their control and actively seek out ideas and change opportunities that they want to introduce.
Why We Need to Implement Change
Those who can maintain an outlook of continuous improvement and set an example by remaining optimistic will strengthen their personal power. It requires learning from the past, keeping an open mind, and being willing to develop any new skills required by the change.
Leaders must also be able to effectively communicate and make a case for the change so that others understand its value for the business. People resist change for a variety of reasons. Sometimes change requires team members to make a personal sacrifice. When the reasons for the change are clear and people have the opportunity to voice their feelings or concerns, it’s easier to overcome resistance.
How Do We Help Others Accept Change?
First, you will want to review the current situation and help others step back and gain a broader perspective of it. Offer details, be specific, and provide evidence that demonstrates the importance and urgency of the change. Invite questions and help others understand what to expect.
Knowing the Impact Factor will help you understand when you may need to spend more time with the people you lead. The Impact Factor for the change is made up of several components:
- The number of modifications to be made
- The scope of the people within the organization who will be affected
- The time allocated for the change
- The extent to which people must change their behavior
- Their capabilities in terms of implementing the change
Managing the normal fears, concerns, and resistance that comes with any change means responding promptly. You must be ready to listen. You will need to respect the feelings of others, give them the opportunity to vent, acknowledge the feelings of loss that some employees may experience, and reassure them that the change is manageable.
Give people credit for their past achievements and coach them regularly to help them move beyond their objections to the change by creating a climate to support it. Set expectations and ground rules for moving forward with the change. Identify advocates for the change and confront its cynics. Help them understand the benefits of the change and let go of the past.
After Implementing Change
Setting a new direction for the future requires a solid plan. You must be able to articulate what will be accomplished and how the plan will be implemented. Collaborate with the team to help them step up and take ownership for what you want to have happen. Include details about who, what, where, and when each step in the process will be completed.
Celebrate early accomplishments with your team as you complete significant milestones. Finally, after the change is implemented, be sure to monitor your success and make continual improvements and adjustments. Sustaining the change is just as important as its implementation.
CMOE works with leaders to create and drive organizational change every day. Contact us to learn more about how we can work with you to create positive change in your organization.