A change scenario in a business is mostly about, the business moving from its present ways to a new way of working. The need to change may be some internal or external trigger –for example – change in business priorities, growth focus, productivity focus, any impending merger, or any integration with some other business, or just a simple effort to make internal processes better.
Now, any change effort means some amount of pain – as employees need to learn new things, they need to do things in a different way and it may also mean that some amount of realignment of structure, and change in roles or responsibilities for some employees will accompany the overall change exercise. Depending on the mandate of change the impact of change initiatives on employees may be from moderate to extreme.
Here are some points, that will help you think of change in a better way, and plan accordingly so as to avoid the roadblocks related to employee motivation, lost productivity, wasted effort, decision issues, etc.
Clarity of Purpose
You need to be clear on the overall change initiative – the big picture, the envisaged impact & outcomes. There needs to be clarity on what you want to achieve for the organization.
Since any kind of change impacts people – and the people, the related processes etc. also may need to be handled with care, and well planned precision.
Buy in & Participation
- The decisions, stages of change, and the key people leading and supporting these have to be well thought out – discussed and agreed upon keeping in view the various sensitivities at play.
- Need for a consensus amongst the leadership team / transition team / decision makers on the change initiative and the operating framework for supporting the initiative.
- Generate a buy in and acceptance from senior team members, and make an effort to include them in the change initiative.
Communication & Confidence Building Measures
- Planned communication and periodic announcements to prevent any scope of rumor, assumptions leading to any issues & roadblocks.
- Any communication and interactions with internal teams, needs to be non-threatening, participative and inclusive.
- Ensure that the initiatives and actions doesn’t upset a system which has been, seemingly working fine for so long.
Alignment between Teams Supporting the Change Initiative
- Role & responsibilities of team participating in and supporting the change initiative needs to be clear.
- There needs to be appropriate alignment, and periodic interactions of the team (decision makers, functional leaders, consultants) supporting the change & transition efforts.
- Transparency of efforts and information sharing amongst team members will be an imperative to the success of the initiative.
- The framework & boundaries for participation and coordination between various participants of change initiative should be discussed & established so as there is no ambiguity and conflict.
Decisive Leadership & Management Support
- Engagements related to people side of organizational change are more about facilitating a change in mindset, than just recommending new processes. There needs to adequate participation and support from leadership/ senior management.
On Going Planned Efforts
- It has to be understood that the impact, and the subsequent maintenance, and institutionalization of newly deployed processes, priorities takes time and consistent planned effort. These also need to be supported by periodic reviews and timely decisions for corrective actions.
© Praveen Mishra, 2016
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