In the study we just completed, we have identified the key reasons why change is resisted and doesn’t last long-term. These issues are easy to correct (using our half-day workshop for leaders called, Planning, Empowering, and Executing Successful Change.)
The Study and The Problem
Leaders fail to understand that change is a process and there is a correlation between how strategically the change is planned and how readily it is accepted or embraced. Our study also indicates that change is rarely communicated well so few know much about the change or reason for the change. They are left to draw their own conclusions. They are not engaged, informed properly or meant to feel they have any input in the change. Thus, resistance doubles and the change moves more slowly with many road bumps along the way. Acceptance of change can be much easier if leaders follow some simple steps:
Developing an Effective Planning Process and Including Communication
To start, a leader must accurately and thoroughly identify the Present State. This is the way things are currently done. He or she must communicate what’s wrong with the Present State. This should include clear reasons (often shared from those directly involved in what needs to be changed (so they have input.)
Next, a leader must communicate what the Future State would be and why it is better than the Current State in terms of performance or results. The Future State can be a big problem because people are afraid of the unknown (so it is so important to communicate and make the future very black and white.
Finally, the leader must develop a well thought out plan to get from the Present State to the Future State. This is the Transition State. There is a high correlation between the amount of detail in the plan and the probability of success. The more strategic the thought process – the more detailed the plan will be. Since so much is riding on this plan, it should identify:
- What needs to change and why
- How the change is going to be effectively communicated and why
- Who are the key influencers you connect well with who deal well with change. (They will drive, support, explain, and hand-hold throughout the change.)
- Coaching (to provide one-on-one or group meeting) for questions and feedback
- Your training plan for those employees who will need new skills as a result of the change.
This plan and necessary steps will reduce resistance, increase engagement, and build support for the change.
At this point all you have left is to put the right conditions in place that enable change to be sustained. Often times, leaders proclaim success too early without having a plan to engage and involve employees over the long-term. Change should be made a part of the culture there and supported with rewards and recognition for performance improvement.
The study clearly identifies that planning and communication (or lack of) is the root of all change management success or failure stories. Let us show you how it’s done the right way, the first time with Planning, Empowering, and Executing Successful Change.
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