How To Lead Organizational Change

By | July 16, 2016

A real story from a change leader on How to Lead Organizational Change!

Leading Change 1

My assessment of the history, culture and value systems of the organization in a recent project helped me recognize that staff have been participants in many change initiatives that were poorly communicated, unprepared for implementation and in some cases initiatives that have not been followed through. These experiences have left employees more or less skeptical of any change initiative.

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The organization’s culture is full of tradition and a commonly heard reason for doing things is that, “we have always done it this way and our supervisors aren’t interested in changing.” My assessment also revealed a value system that places a great degree of emphasis on service to the clients, professionalism and dedication.

With this assessment, I recognized the importance of gaining support from the executive team and proceeded to “do change management” on the executive team through presentations and the development of a sponsorship plan to ensure active and visible participation in the project for this team.

Support from the executive allowed me to move ahead with the development of a change management strategy. The key to this strategy was to recruit change agents from the business area to be impacted by the project. Five change agents for my change management working group were recruited and trained in their role.

The change management working group used its knowledge of the culture and history of the organization to create and implement a communication plan, training plan, coaching plan, resistance management plan and reinforcement plan.

Early communication of the project describing the what and the why of the

Many People Involved!

Many People Involved!

project along with a description of the impact that the project outcomes would have on staff was key to the success of the project. This step also created a “wow” moment for staff not used to this type of transparency and structure. Face to face communication was relied on rather than the traditional email approach.

Managers and supervisors were surprised with the coaching plan that focused on providing them with early notice of the project and, importantly, training on the critical role they play as the preferred sender of information for staff. We noted that what we were actually doing was “doing change management on change management” for managers and supervisors.

The training plan created provided another “wow” moment as new procedures were prepared with input from staff well before implementation, training sessions provided options for staff to receive training in their preferred style: e-learning; classroom; webinar-based. This plan included post-implementation follow-up to provide clarification on the new procedures.

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The success of this change initiative was seen in the change management survey results following the project that showed excitement about the staff engagement opportunities.

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This approach continues to be used in the change initiatives for this business  and staff have quickly embraced the new structured approach to change. There has been much more success in creating excitment and buy-in to participate in new initiatives.

Comments-1

Agree or Disagree…I would love to hear from you. Here is a link to my profile.

All the best!

Miles

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11 thoughts on “How To Lead Organizational Change

  1. David

    Change Management is very important for organisations of all sizes. Change is the one thing that we can be sure of. When an organisation is well managed and well run, it looks so easy. However organisations are always changing things, and it is important that all the stakeholders are involved in the change management process in order to proceed or not with the change. I agree that without top management’s visible involvement and shown commitment to the process, it can be hard to implement those changes.

    Reply
    1. Miles Post author

      Thanks, so much, Valentino. Do you have a role where this story might prove beneficial?

      Cheers,

      Miles

      Reply
  2. Audrey

    Great post, Miles! I agree with your views and can see how your strategy worked to achieve real change in the organization. It happens too often that plans with missing links are launched within organizations and then the people responsible wonder why they do not work.

    Reply
    1. Miles Post author

      Thank you, so much, Audrey for taking the time to share your thoughtful feedback. A couple of other strategies I rely on are focused on “influencing for change” and “employee engagement.” Having multiple tools in your “change toolkit” is key to leading organizational change.

      Cheers,

      Miles

      Reply
  3. Owain

    My role is with the workers, where the change affects. Yes we may have always done it like this, but let us know what changes are to be made and let’s work together on it. Not “right this is what we’re doing now, so do it”. Some communication would be appreciated, rather than change things without feedback. Go ahead and make changes, that’s how we evolve, but get employees opinions and thoughts. Sorry if I’ve gone off-topic but that is my take on it.

    Reply
    1. Miles Post author

      I love your perspective and that is exactly what I do in my practice…help organizations improve the levels of employee engagement. Employees must be involved in building new processes. You will find this post in support of your suggestion. Please let me know what you think and share with others.

      Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

      Best regards,

      Miles

      Reply
  4. Clint

    This is a very detailed presentation. Its always great to see someone who has solutions to problems. Nice job sir!

    Reply
  5. Clint

    This is a very detailed presentation. Its always great to see someone who has solutions to problems. Nice job Miles!

    Reply
    1. Miles Post author

      Hi Clint,

      Thanks. so much, for taking the time to review and provide a comment. As leaders, my hope is that we can model the way by generating solution conversations rather than waiting for someone else to create a solution. One person at a time, we can create this shift and foster higher levels of employee engagement!

      All the best,

      Miles

      Reply

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