Our advice on organisational change and necessary skills for Change Leadership.
Managing change is a very difficult process. Issues with communication can cause the change to propagate incorrectly, you can face resistance at all levels of your organisation or change leadership can lack the skills and knowledge needed to sustain the changes over time and can try to revert to old ways when unexpected problems occur. Worse yet, every time a change fails, employees lose a little trust in the process and become more resistant to further attempts to change.
When tackling the challenge of managing change, it should be no surprise that your biggest asset will be leadership and managers who are trained in leading and managing change. These individuals will be the driving force of any organisational change you try to implement. It is thus imperative that your leadership have the skills and knowledge needed to effectively manage change before tackling any major transformational projects.
This blog post explores the key strategies to leading and managing change, as well as the skills required by managers if you hope to be successful.
Utilise and Transform Culture
Culture is critical to the success of any major organisational change project. A successful organisational transformation changes not just how people operate but how they think. Doing so will allow changes to propagate throughout the business, take root permanently and sustain themselves in the face of adversity leading to long term change for the better.
The first step of managing culture change is to instill these new ways of thinking into your management and leadership. Management need to be brought around to the new way of thinking if they are to be expected to effectively change the thinking of the rest of the organisation.
Once your managers have your new corporate culture at heart, they need the skills to advocate and propagate this new culture throughout the organisation. It is the managers who will filter organisational changes down from the top and it will be down to them to ensure that every employee embraces the new culture that is key to lasting change.
Change Comes from the Top Down
A successful change management project should start from the top and work its way down through an organisation. The entire project should be managed by leadership from start to finish to ensure the correct changes are made and that all changes that occur align with the organisation’s vision.
To effectively enact organisational change, your leadership needs to have come to a consensus. Your management team should have the skills required to come together as a team and build consensus. Having your leadership break down the barriers between departments and come together to build a cohesive strategy will help to ensure a consistent message is spread through your organisation, making change that much more likely to stick.
Get Every Layer Involved
Too many change management projects fail because organisations fail to take into account the wisdom and knowledge they have available in the form of their front line employees. Getting the thoughts, opinions and ideas from every layer of the company will allow potential pitfalls to be seen well in advance, as well as build engagement throughout the company. Employees will be far more likely to commit to changes that they have had a hand in creating.
Successful managers will learn to listen to their employees, filter the valuable insights that they are given and utilise this to best implement desired changes. The ability to communicate and effectively engage employees will also help them to embrace and accept change.
Put your Changes into Practice
Plans and statements are a great start, but real change will only come when managers start to act according to new policy. It’s only when employees see their leaders embrace change and act according to any new principles that they will start to accept the change is real. Your leadership must advocate change though every action and lead by example to successfully lead change.
Leadership must learn how to incorporate the changes in culture and process your organisation desires in into their own processes and behaviours. Your organisation must pinpoint key behaviours, and have your leadership become aware of, and start implementing them. These small but critical changes in behaviour will be quickly assimilated by a managers employees, so long as the manager is highly visible displaying them.
Once your change management project is well underway, it is important to continually assess the whole process and to identify successes and pain points.
Once again your management team is critical to this, training managers to assess the transformation process to find out what is working and what isn’t. Once these points are highlighted they need to have the adaptability to use this information to plan the next steps, failure to adapt to difficulties will prevent organisational change from sustaining itself over time, leaving a failed project at the end.
Don’t Do it Alone
Managing Change is a complex and difficult process, but you don’t have to do it alone. Create the Space can provide you with consultation, support and training every step of the way.
We can consult with you to highlight the most effective way to implement the changes you desire in your organisation, help you to plan your change management project and assist in spotting potential pitfalls that could cause your project to falter.
Create the Space can provide bespoke management training, giving your leadership the skills they need to effectively manage organisational change. We can also instill in them new ways of thinking, new culture and new values that will help your leaders to align themselves with your company values, turning them from a manager into a culture advocate.
Let’s discuss how we can work together to transform your organisation and create lasting change, contact Create the Space now.