Change management is one of the greatest areas I see within business over the years where getting it right does not have to be a huge task.
We are creatures of habit. We like (well most of us do) predictability. The day to day of life is safe. But as we all know we cannot evolve without change. When change is forced upon us, like in the work place, it is hard. For example: when a process is changed but we don’t know why; or when a person in your team leaves.
So how can we support ourselves and our colleagues to be resilient to change? How can we make change more normal?
The obvious way to implement change is to take people on the journey. I am sure you have heard it all before – explain to people why there is need for the change, how it will happen and what specifically the change will be – as described by the Golden Circle Model in Simon Sinek’s book “Start With Why“.
And whilst it is one of the more obvious means it is sometimes the one first overlooked. I have seen many business people in my years who were resisting the changes because they did not understand WHY the change was happening.
So before any change is implemented consider the Golden Circle.
- Why – explain clearly to all involved WHY change is happening. People like to understand why things are happening at work and even if they do not like it, you have treated them respectfully by explaining the reasons for change.
- How – be clear HOW the change will be implemented. By being clear on how the change will be put in place and involving people in this stage you can manage people’s expectations and reduce some of the resistance they may have to the change.
- What – explain clearly WHAT will change specifically and what will stay the same (we often use the STOP-START-CONTINUE model). This helps with rumours and uncertainty around change. You can also set targets and outcomes and then create your Change Plan. There are a variety of Change Planning Tools that you can adopt, however our principle is to Simplify the Complex. In other words don’t make the planning process too complex, otherwise people will not implement it, or worse, resist it further.
But there is much more you can do to support and grow through change. The PIE Model being a good example of this.
Participation – get everyone involved in the change – however small their role. You want to get maximum buy-in especially if the change is significant and challenging to individuals and teams.
Inform – make sure people are informed throughout the change even if there is little to say – do not ignore them! This is when we suggest more 1to1s (not less) and visibility of key change agents (i.e the instigators of the change) to everyone involved in the change.
Energy – bring energy to the change by looking at benefits such as development opportunity and better ways of working. Put personal development plans in place, set up mentoring programmes, offer opportunities for promotion if relevant, recognise good work and celebrate small wins or achievements.
What these models cannot address is when the change directly negatively impacts the manager helping to lead the change. When they find themselves reacting to the negative implications of the change I would strongly recommend coaching and mentoring. It is through coaching and mentoring that you will build resilience to change. It will empower you, your team and your business to grow and succeed in the ever changing world.
If you want to learn more about how to lead and plan a change in your company or are involved in implementing a change you might be interested in completing our next ILM Level 5 Certificate in Leadership and Management programme, or we can offer Executive Coaching and Mentoring to help individuals, teams and businesses through change.