Organizations cannot standstill. They will always have to meet new challenges and find better means of doing things. Every change made in the organization must be planned and executed with care or else it might do more damage than good.
This is where management of change comes in. This approach is structured and ensures that changes are carried out smoothly and thoroughly having the desired effect.
This article highlights how one can enact productive and positive transitions in their company adopting the four principles of change management.
Theories are drawn from many disciplines on change management including behavioral science, system thinking, psychology, and engineering. You can choose from many different available models.
The main idea of all theories of change management is that change never takes place in isolation. Change impacts all the employees in the organization in some way or another. But you can motivate everyone in the organization to embrace and adapt to a new strategy of working with fair change management.
Below are the four prominent principles of management of change:
1. Understand change: To promote the advantages of change successfully, you must know them yourself. You need to think about:
● Why do you have to change?
● What will be your main objectives?
● What will be the advantages of change to the company?
● How positively will it influence people?
● How will it influence the way that employees work?
● What do people require to achieve the change successfully?
You need to also think about the negative consequences if changes are not made. The change equation of Beckhard and Harry explains that to make the change work, people should have enough dissatisfaction with their doing things in the old way. But people should also feel convinced that the fresh strategy is better and there will be a clear path to reach there.
2. Plan change: Effective change will not happen by luck. Any plan made by you has to benefit your organization. The means of handling the change projects may vary from company to company. Some organizations might have very precise change procedures, while others might be more flexible and open in their approach.
You need to contemplate the following things in general:
● Sponsorship: How can you engage, secure and use the sponsorship and support for the change from the high level?
● Involvement: Who will be the best positioned to assist you to develop and execute the change? Can you use inside resources? or Do you need expertise from an external source?
● Buy-in: The effectiveness of change can be considered when you can gain support from people in all parts of the business. How will you intend to accomplish it?
● Impact: Get an idea about how success will look finally. How will you foresee and evaluate the effect of the change you desire to make? What are the goals you want to achieve?
3. Implement change: It signifies how precisely you can bring about change. You can decide on many different methods to bring about change into practice. The following points help you to enforce change positively even though the tools chosen by you are different:
● Ensure that what has to come about and what it implies is understood by everyone included in the change.
● Agree on success measures for all your changes. It has to be made clear that they are measured regularly and reported on.
● Identify and map the key stakeholders who are supposed to be included in the change management and specify their degree of involvement.
● Find out whether any training needs to be addressed to carry out the change.
● “Change agents” need to be appointed to help to establish the new strategies into place and act as a motivator for new approaches.
● People’s habits need to be changed by finding the right way so that modern techniques become the norm.
● See-through that everyone is favored throughout the process of change.
4. Communication change: Communication is a break-or-make part of change management. Make sure that you are clear about the change that needs to be implemented. This helps people to realize what is expected from them and why they want to do it. You should set the proper tone to get the sensitive responses that you are expecting.
People will understand the positive impact of change if you relate changes that are designed by you to the vision or mission statements of the organization. It will also give them an inspiring and shared idea of the future.
Practicing stakeholder management assures that you are conveying the right information to the right people at the right moment. This will help you to receive the support required for your project.
Best-laid ideas might undergo setbacks sometimes. You need to be ready to face the difficulties when they appear. Few people will be cynical about your ideas. In that case, you need to understand, acknowledge and handle any opposition to change.
Cultural barriers may also arise against change. If your change is not embraced by the organizational culture, then you need to find a path to reward flexibility.
The “One-size-fits-all” strategy doesn’t apply to change management. You need to stay genuine and lead in a direction that you feel is right. To be a successful change leader, you should have the potential to build alliances and inspire trust among the people. Healthy communication skills and strategic thinking will also help you to make change management effective.