Where ever you work there is company or workplace culture if you will. It is the framework that hampers change management because it is viewed to be necessary for consistency in day-to-day operations. Now consistency is a good and necessary thing from an operational perspective. However, what happens when what is defined as consistent no longer serves the business? Some form of stagnation is a common result. That stagnation becomes the stumbling block for change to occur.
As a Change Manager questioning assumptions, behaviors, beliefs and processes is second nature. However as an agent of change you are not typically the person with the authority or power if you will to enact processes that would be beneficial over the short or long term.
Finding a way to engage your clients is imperative and the following areas provide a suggestions for a place from which to launch.
- Address what is actual current in the operation of the business.
Have the leadership and managers look at what they are doing and why. Chances are high that many processes in play are no longer relevant creating unnecessary workflow bottlenecks. Questioning the validity of what is being done creates an opportunity for minor and major shifts to take place.
- Bring measurement tools to the forefront.
It seems like an obvious thing to do yet it may be overlooked in the haste to get an initiative started. Data to support what you are trying to accomplish is essential for the process to reach fruition.
- Work within the sphere of influence you have.
Promoting changes begins with working within those aspects you have influence over. The probability of influencing those around you gains traction over time. That creates an opportunity for trust to grow. With that your sphere of influence also grows. Introducing change becomes less daunting with more people on board.
- Ensure your sponsor or champion for the process is well informed.
The person who is the champion of the process is likely someone who commands a larger sphere of influence than yourself. Keep this person in the loop with all critical information. That paves the way for a smoother rollout.
- Be diplomatic.
Being the person who knows it all or who has to dominate each discussion is hardly a diplomatic approach. Recognize that there may those who do not view the process the same way you do and are therefore questioning why change needs to take place. Stay focused ad present the data and information calmly and objectively. Point out the benefits as often as require. In other words be diplomatic.
- Speak to your audience in the manner they understand.
Speaking to technical people using words and phrases they are not familiar with does not add to your credibility. Present your reasons for change within the context of the business. Take the time to define the terms you are using. Avoid jargon and terms where the meaning is ambiguous at best.
Changes occur with action. Build on your wins and take the time to celebrate each of your successes along the way.
Marie-Helene Sakowski, Business Consultant SME’s, firstname.lastname@example.org