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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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