How to manage change effectively

There are many change management models out there and over the years I have added my input to produce what I believe to be an effective six-stage process:

  • Establish the need for change

    • Clearly define what the change is intended to achieve.
    • Identify risks and opportunities.
    • Create a sense of urgency among the relevant people.
    • Gain top management support to obtain approval for change.
    • Top management must visibly embrace the change and model the desired outcome.
  • Create an effective team

    • Build a credible team with the necessary skills, connections and authority to lead change.
    • Ensure the process to achieve the desired change, including consulting with employees, contractors and visitors has been defined, reviewed, approved and communicated.
    • Ensure all managers and supervisors affected by the change have been identified and understand the change.
  • Have a vision

    • Create a written vision of what is expected to align top management.
    • Identify new values, attitudes, beliefs needed to accommodate the change.
    • Fully understand the need for change and seek universal approval.
    • Involve all layers of the organisation with leaders aligned to the vision.
    • Provide timely communication to the organisation in a simple and informative format.
  • Create an effective plan

    • Remove potential obstacles between departments or other planned changes within the organisation.
    • Develop an action plan with clear direction and SMART objectives, that provide inspiration and motivation.
    • Seek approval from top management for the implementation of the action plan.
    • Effectively communicate the action plan to those affected.
  • Provide measures and rewards

    • Celebrate progress to enhance credibility, resources and momentum to the overall effort.
    • Monitor how the change is progressing and review the adequacy of risk controls.
    • Measure the results of the change using leading indicators.
    • Communicate the results.
    • Reinforce good results and positive behaviour with reward.
    • Create ownership.
  • Reinforce safety culture

    • Make the change stick by nurturing the new culture with appropriate promotions and events.
    • Create a level of certainty with positive reinforcement by all levels of management.
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