Change can take many forms. It can create such an impact on our organisation as well as our personal lives.
In the business world, we see change so often. The problem is that most times it hasn’t been implemented well. The effect of this can be significant on an organisation – demotivated and frustrated staff, broken processes, and unused software to name a few.
What went wrong? There can be a number of reasons but usually it’s the basic principle:
change needs management. We need a plan so we can figure out where we are going and how to get there. So, how do you embrace change rather than fear it? What does it mean and how can you make it work for you? This can be achieved by applying these five simple tips:
Think about what it is that you are going to change – Where does the change start and finish, which part of the business or client base does it affect? What am I changing, what am I not changing? Why are we changing this part of the business and what are the benefits of making this change?
Identify and understand – Start by asking, who cares about this change? Who is impacted by this change? Why would the person or persons not want to change? What unsettles these same people? What motivates them to change? Meet with them if you can; at the end you should be able to understand their needs, concerns and expectations.
Engage and communicate, communicate, communicate – once you know who will be impacted by the change, the theory is simple: start engaging with them. Think about the change you are implementing and communicate accordingly. If you are handling a sensitive or difficult change then meet in person in the first instance. Maybe have a coffee and talk it over. Then, follow-up with an email outlining what you talked about. Also, consider different communication methods to promote the change. The standard methods are emails or newsletters, but consider if other methods are more appropriate. Once you’ve started to communicate, reconfirm if your original understanding of their needs, concerns and expectations are still correct, as you would have established during the previous step.
Check, and then implement – check that the people impacted by this change understand what is about to happen, and then implement. Don’t assume everyone has read and understood the change that is about to happen. Nine times out of ten, people may have read the information, but not fully understood what is about to happen.
Review – consider what went well, and what can be done better next time! Change is an important part of business development, as it leads to innovation, which is an important part of any healthy growing organisation.
In this day and age, change is inevitable – those who are successful embrace it. And ultimately, change is better than a holiday!