Change Management

Change Management has become the watchword for negative actions in business. Yet it need not be as unpleasant as it has a reputation for.

Change Management skills are in constant demand and with a little preparation and planning, disruption can be minimised. Change can become a positive and stimulating experience in your business or organisation – if you let it be.

“In the power to change yourself, is the power to change the world around you.”

Anwar Sadat

Top Ten Things About Change Management

The very best Change Management comes in simple, almost imperceptible steps – like the small course corrections a 747 jumbo makes crossing the ocean to get to it’s destination.

Great leaders of change…

  1. Communicate Well
    They are open in conversations with their people and embrace them in finding win-win solutions to change.
  2. Have A Clear Vision
    Really understand where the business is going after doing collaborative Visioning work with their people.
  3. Are Consistent
    Every activity within a change process is delivered in line with a fair, trusted and honest plan – no exceptions.
  4. Have Great Rapport
    Easy change processes are delivered because these leaders have already sown the seeds by building close relationships with their people.
  5. Are Trusted
    …and their people know their leader cares and is doing the best he or she can for the good of as many as possible.
  6. Plan Well
    Have considered all options; have decided the best value case and have checked what will and what won’t work – no surprises.
  7. Have a Disciplined Approach
    They stick to the planned process and timescales for the changes to be made.
  8. Stick to Their Guns
    …and do not shift from the agreed plan, whatever emotional pressures they face.
  9. Treat People Well
    Honour people for themselves and treat them with respect and dignity in these often tense times.
  10. Are Results Focused
    Make decisions based on true value-creation and use that very objectively as their over-riding goal.

Ten Ways to be a Better Leader of Change

  1. Build Relationships
    Change is much, much easier if there is a strong relationship between a leader and their people. There is no easier way to make this work better.
  2. Take Opportunities
    During business, valuable opportunities for change come frequently, so by taking them as you go along, it will make major change much less necessary.
  3. Have a Value-Creating Game Plan
    A strong vision for the future shapes the steps needed for change. Depending on circumstances, these steps can be made early and minimise large-scale disruption.
  4. Start Out Right
    The easiest way to minimise the need for change is to get it right from the very start, making just minor adjustments as you go along.
  5. Talk to People
    Aside from building great relationships, talking and listening to people often elicits opportunities which might otherwise be missed.
  6. Ask For What You Want
    By clearly stating what exactly is needed is to change, solutions often come unexpectedly.
  7. Do Big Changes Once
    If a major change is needed, it is far better to do the job in one go than by taking half-measures, several times. This severely damages morale and creates ongoing tensions.
  8. Change Yourself
    With a preparedness for stepping back from your own beliefs, it might be possible to be really creative about solutions – this can require a great deal of personal focus from you and is definitely worth it.
  9. Measure Against Value
    Any change must be worthwhile. By measuring the changes against their value-creating outputs objectively, clearer decisions and commitment from others will follow.
  10. Have Good Reason
    Making sure that change is not merely being used to overcome weak management – e.g. instead of using a disciplinary processes. Change will be more likely to be successful then.

5 Simple Actions You Can Take Today!

  • Be still with yourself and take a half-hour. Be ruthlessly honest about what’s not right in your business – including yourself. Notice what or who you avoid resolving – it is easier to fix than to live with.
  • Make three personal changes in things that you have noticed – today!
  • Set the highest standards for your business right now and measure against that – change what falls short.
  • Become much more aware of the performance of competitors and make rapid change in your business to beat them.
  • Right now, make a concerted effort to work with your people and build great rapport with them.
  • Bonus! Remember that people take change as a threat – communicating fully, frequently will take the edge off that fear.

Read some great Change Management books – like:-

“Managing At the Speed of Change” – Darryl Conner
“The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook” – Peter Senge
“Change Management in a Week” – Mike Bourne & Pippa Bourne There are more!