Many organisations begin a change process and find that their efforts are not having the desired impact are you banging your head against a brick wall in trying to figure out why your change initiatives are not producing results?
It’s not easy to have a precise plan to assist during management of change, there are many unknown variables. However it is important to have a framework in which to plan for change.
When organisations look back on change initiatives there are often things that happened which in hindsight could have been foreseen even if the final outcomes were not predictable.
Creating a strategic framework for change is a responsibility of management. It gives everyone, including, those planning the change, members of the organisation and even customers and suppliers an understanding of the process and therefore an aid to reducing uncertainty.
Why do we need to change?
Of course if you hope to convince others of compelling reason for change then it essential that all managers understand and communicate or promote those reasons consistently, failure to communicate consistent messages will simply lead to confusion.
The questions below will enable you to check your managers or change agents understanding of the changes you are facing:
- Why change? What are the compelling reasons to change? (Growth, survival)
- What is the current situation? How does that prevent growth or, development?
- Future aims – Vision for the future. What exciting opportunity does the vision for the future present?
- How will the change affect us? – What’s in it for employees, profits, customers?
- How will we Implement change, key stages, who has responsibility for what? Who will drive the change?
- How will the change be communicated? What methods will be used to promote the change?
- What are the implications for people? The good, the bad, and the ugly! How can we minimise the likely disruption and anxiety amongst our people?
- What will be the result of the change?
- How can we measure that we are on track with the change strategy?
Catalysts for Change
Catalysts are forces that if acknowledged and clearly defined force an organisation or an individual to challenge itself and face up to the need to adapt and change. When those catalysts are not clearly defined or management messages are inconsistent people fail to respond because it’s probably safer to remain where they are and with what is familiar. Change evokes all kinds of fears and uncertainties. Consequently we change only if we have to.
It follows then that it is difficult to get an organisation to change unless the people inside it can see the reason for change. Many organisations begin a change process and find that their efforts are not having the desired impact, this could be because the catalysts for change are not conveying sufficient reason to change.
Managers often interpret this failure to embrace change as “Resistance” and to impact this perceived resistance they create a monster, This monster is a scenario embedded with threats, designed to generate insecurity, and anxiety an extreme and exaggerated cocktail containing the dire consequences of failing to respond to change. managers hope that the monster will generate a sense of urgency to drive change.
People tend not to resist things they understand and which they know will benefit them. What they do resist are things that are imposed upon them, things, which they don’t understand, and things which are beyond their control and influence.
As organizations adapt to changing market environments, managing change has become a core competency for many managers. Managers usually learn to focus on outcomes and tangible results very early on in their careers, and although outcomes are very important, a manager must also pay attention to underlying emotions and to use positive power and influence in order to sustain change and achieve continued long term success
Individual change is at the heart of everything that is achieved in organisations. Once individuals have the motivation to do something different, the world can begin to change.
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