Having worked for a number of different industries in a change management capacity the heavy lifting comes about in engaging management and the remaining workforce to move from talking about change to actually taking action towards change. I am sure that many of you agree talking about change is a favored pastime that does not go anywhere in terms and is actually counterproductive in the long run.
Following are some suggestion to engage everyone into purposeful action that leads to the strategic change desired.
- Take a close look at where things are currently.
The strategy for the change initiative has been communicated. Managers, employees and the champions for the process are in place and seemingly ready to go. Something is missing as despite the communications process and daily and weekly updates the process is seemingly stalled. Begin with asking your team what appears to be the blockage point. Listen closely to what is or is not being said. It may be that there is a fear of losing autonomy, scope, or simply fear of the unknown. Ask outside of the team for input as to what it would take to have change be accomplished and embraced.
Once you have identified the common element to the resistance of change set out clear action steps that involve various stakeholders throughout the process. Keep revisiting what is going on and revising until the initiative is complete.
- Revise as necessary after implementation
It is not unusual to have a process stall after a period of implementation and to have the workforce appear to revert to previous models of doing or completing tasks. Take the time to schedule refreshers and feedback sessions and continue thee until such time as the changes are part and parcel of the day-to-day routine.
Once again ensure that stakeholders have clear actionable areas and that they continue to have buy-in.
- Hold a team meetings 6 – 12 months later
Team meetings are a perfect place to celebrate the successes and lay claim the action areas that are still outstanding. Perhaps the areas that remain incomplete are no longer relevant and can be discarded. Or there may be some additional initiatives that are relevant and timely as a result of the changes that have occurred. Devise action steps to have the desired outcomes take place.
Change management by definition is often ongoing and clearly new strategies and action are required to keep up with dynamic markets. Having inspired a company to go from talking about something to actually doing something about it is a good step towards ensuring additional changes have a better chance of being embraced and acted upon.
Need further clarity – contact me to discuss.
Solo and Small Biz Change Agent, Marie-Helene Sakowski at firstname.lastname@example.org