Are you managing more change than constants in your business? In today’s often challenging business climates, most aspects of your organization will require change at some point.
Effective change management is more important than ever for today’s leaders, especially critical when we know that only 30%-40% of change initiatives succeed. That means that a staggering 60-70% of them fail!
Change can be difficult and downright scary depending on the size, configuration and distribution of your team.
Reasons for failures fall into the general categories of: unclear objectives, lack of communication, accepting the need for change, poorly designed change and unrealistic expectations.
To keep the outcome of your change initiative positive and increase the likelihood of success, we advocate the following change principles.
Assess Cost vs. Benefit. Typically gaps in meeting defined targets or performance issues prompt the need for change. This illustrates the requirement for a business case supporting the change. Remember to factor in adjustments periods, including temporary slowdowns and adequate time to see results.
Focus on the end goal. Don’t dwell on past mistakes or gaps. Do learn the lessons, but focus on what needs to happen. Energy will flow where you direct your focus. Therefore keep your focus on the desired outcome to impact positive change.
Bring in the team. As the change is being planned, consider the full impact on everything affected in this process. Assemble a team that designs and implements the change. The wider and deeper this team is, the greater the likelihood of successful implementation.
Reflect in silence. Use mediation to clear your head and help manage stress. With regular practice, insights and solutions will come through many avenues. Apply visualization as a means to explore possibilities and create the positive outcome you desire.
Communicate and align. Communicate while change is being considered, planned and implemented. If applicable you can delegate some of this to your ‘change team’, but you need to set the strategic vision for everyone and sponsor the effort. Be sure to align all stakeholders to ensure full cooperation across your organization.
Work iteratively. Depending on the nature of the change, you may want to roll it out in a limited fashion and refine details prior to broader implementation. If you change too much too fast, you could cause general disruption. Worse yet, you may discover costly gaps that can be resolved quicker on a smaller scale.
Celebrate and recognize. Acknowledge success and recognize those that were instrumental in making it happen. Often these types of efforts are above and beyond current roles and responsibilities, so don’t take results for granted.
After the process is complete, take a brief and informal survey of what went well and what can be improved upon. Factor this is for future initiatives.