“Every change initiative is unique, but the truths about making change succeed have been the same for a long, long time”
Topics about being Successful & Leadership: is all about People, Vision, Stakeholders , the Willing, Trade-offs, Communication, Listen, Silent Majority, Time, Learn.
C – I know what I’m talking about. Throughout my career — as a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in companies large & small, as a corporate & non-profit board member, and now as CEO of a fast-growing privately-held highly-successful startup — I’ve learned to become a Secret Agent (no) Change Agent. It’s a badge I wear proudly, and one that has taught me about what works & what doesn’t – when managing change.
Every Change initiative is unique, but the truths about making change succeed are virtually ageless. Here I’ve collected 10 truths about Change Management. Think of them like “tools” in a Toolbox – that you need to have close at hand. You need to know how to use them and determine the right time to pull them out and put them to work. That’s the Change Agent’s primary job.
1. Change is all about people !!!
I lead a software company that provides a “game-changing” connected planning platform. And while I believe that technology can help our organizations grow, evolve & improve, Change Management is ultimately about people. As leaders, we have to set the example of the change we want from the people around us. As a great National Basketball Association coach said, “You can’t force your will on people. If you want them to act differently, you need to inspire & motivate them to change themselves.” Only when you help individuals change, can you hope to change an organization.
2. Create a Vision.
Determine where you want a transformation to take you early in the change process. Understand what the end result looks like. That doesn’t mean everything has to be fully planned from Day One. In fact, be careful not to be narrow-minded. Maybe you haven’t engaged the people who you need to get on board with you and give you their feedback. And don’t be rigid, because that can get in the way of success and you need to flexible to cope with changing circumstances.
3.Engage your primary Stakeholders.
This is key to selling the Vision you established. Identify the people who will be affected by the change, and get them involved & invested in the project & its success – by providing feedback.
4. Work with the Willing.
Not everybody in your organization is going to get on board the Change Train. That’s natural. Some people will have ways of thinking and working that are incompatible with what you need to accomplish. So, while it’s perhaps the least fun part of Change Management, sometimes you need to bring in new people who share your Vision on this project and re-assign people who don’t, to other projects. Staff changes may be difficult, but the costs of energy & wasted time on those who don’t want to change, is so much greater.
5. Acknowledge Trade-offs.
When people are asked to change, be aware of the effects. Think of it like pulling the loose thread on a shirt button. Sometimes it can cause a button to fall off. If you add resources — dollars, people, space or anything else — to one Project, try to understand what might take a lower priority. “Time” is the ultimate “finite” resource, so if you ask one of your “super-stars” – who’s already working at capacity – to do something extra, realize that their priority in their work may need to be re-prioritized.
6. Communicate every way you can.
I’ve used every medium you can imagine to communicate about change. Consider, Emails, Newsletters, Internal Intra-net sites, Video-conferencing, Customer or Team Feedback meetings – they all have a place – according to the situation.
7. . . . . and Listen too.
The communication I just described above can’t be a one-way street. You need to listen to the people who are making the change, and listen to the people affected by the change. Look hard for the useful nuggets in what people tell you, and integrate them into your plans. In a way, this is the extended version of engaging your stakeholders.
8. Encourage the Silent Majority to speak up.
When you listen, you’re likely to hear a few voices the loudest. Be aware that they’re not always speaking for the majority of people. So, give the “silent majority” a few ways to make their voices heard. Anonymous polls and Surveys can help, but sometimes you need to train and encourage people to speak up (ie, one on one, in person)
9. Take the Time.
Some changes are quick – no-brainers. Some transformational change can — and often must — take a long time. We’re all amazed with how quickly things change in Silicon Valley, and the ability to react fast can be vital to survival. But, changing hearts, minds & ultimately culture some times can take time.
10. Learn as you go.
Challenges will arise as organizations change; the success or failure of your Change Management effort hinges on how you respond to those challenges. Do your people have gaps in their knowledge? Create new learning opportunities and development paths for people.
Conclusion: Not all of these truths apply to every situation. The work landscape is littered with Change Management that failed for reasons that are, in retrospect, painfully obvious. These tips should help you avoid them. But, every one of these truths is unique and success lies in their application. The wisdom of Change Management is to know which tool is best to use, and when to use it. And that’s where leadership comes in.
Comments: Do you have any other ideas on how to make Change successful?
from Entrepreneur.com 15 June 17 enhanced by Peter/CEO Wiz4biz