5 Ways To Make Change Effective
Working with humans in coaching for development, getting unstuck, getting out of their own way, and other human pursuits, change is often a topic of conversation and activity. We are all different and most humans do not like change as being in a comfort zone comfort is the end of the journey for many of us. There are others who embrace change and even look for ways to create change if for no other reason than to do something different. How do these human elements fit into business change scenarios? In short, how can organizations make change more effective?
What is the Point?
Before making a change, be sure you know the reason for the change. Is the change necessary? What factors are contributing to considering the change? What can happen if we do not make the change?
- Are revenues failing?
- Is your customer service experience less than stellar?
- Is employee turnover skyrocketing?
- Is the front lobby unwelcoming?
- Is the water cooler right in a busy traffic pattern?
- Your “Free Form Friday” program needs to be a “Wacky Wednesday” program.
Obviously, some of these have a deeper impact on your business than others. Therefore, the solutions to these “reasons for change” need to have serious and effective solutions. Get to the source of the problem that is causing the need for change.
Decide on the best solution for the change you need to make. If you need to rev up revenues will you need to:
- Close the factory in Japan?
- Sell less widgets and more wickets?
- Add a new stream of revenue?
- Grow your customer base?
- Acquire your competitor?
- Improve sales and market programs?
Let us hope it is not all the above, but you get the idea.
Lay Out a Plan
The saying, attributed to Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” could not be more applicable than to change. There is almost nothing that can cause more chaos in your organization than a large-scale change with no solid planning behind it. Certainly, unforeseen changes can be the most debilitating such as the death of a leader or owner, pandemics, economic challenges, or market changes. So, knowing, up front, that change is needed and coming, you have the advantage over the change. Here is a short, general list of items to consider. Your organization may have different or unique elements to consider.
- What does the outcome of this change look like?
- Who will lead or govern the change?
- Who will sponsor the change?
- What resources will be affected or required?
- Will training, coaching, mentoring be needed?
- Who will the change impact the most, the least?
- What communication systems, techniques, or platforms will you use to get the message about the change out to employees, vendors, customers, or whomever needs to know and understand the change?
These are just a few considerations for change planning. As you form your initial planning committee, it will become obvious that sub committees may need to come into play as more and more touch points for the change reveal themselves during your planning process.
Granted, this is part of the planning process. However, think strategic plan and where it usually winds up. Planning the implementation of the change is crucial, otherwise nothing will happen and the same challenges you are facing now will persist and problem grow to an even bigger challenge from which your company may not recover. Selecting a change methodology is important and there are plenty from which to select. Examples from a list on the AGS website include:
- Accelerating Implementation Methodology (AIM)
- AGS Change Model
- Bridges’ Change Management Framework
- John Kotter’s OCM Methodology
- Kurt Lewin Change Model
- McKinsey 7-S Change Model
- Prosci Change Management Methodology (ADKAR)
In addition, keep in mind that individual consultants such as Springboard Consulting, LLC. owned by April Callis-Birchmeier who may create their own change model. There are others, such as me, who bring in additional programs that others may not offer. In short, shop around, do your homework on a methodology that works best for your project and do not hesitate to add other elements from other sources that help enhance your change initiatives.
Evaluation to some is like closing the barn door after the horse ran away. However, understanding what went right as well as what did not go smoothly will be important elements to incorporate into current day-to-day operations as well as planning (have you heard that before?) for the future.
If you are planning a change and would like an opportunity to chat, Let’s Get Started!