Businesses are faced with change all the time however taking time to plan in advance should bring both competitive advantage and make the journey much smoother. Most changes in a business are minor and incremental with rhetoric sometimes that includes words like growth, innovation, reorganisation, computerisation, relocation and diversification. Whatever the reasons for change are, they should always be in line with your overall business objectives.
Think ahead to where your business needs to be in the short and long term. What do you need to do to get there? What are your competitors doing, or are you going to create a new market space where competition doesn’t operate?
Recognise that a key determinant of business success or failure is the quality of your employees, and especially your management team. Try to get the impetus for change to come from your employees. Employees are more likely to accept a proposed change if it was suggested by them in the first place. Effective change management depends largely on your own leadership skills.
Decide which changes are most important. Focus on the changes with the biggest potential benefits, not the easiest ones to implement. Programme continual smaller changes rather than a few large ones which are easier to manage.
Preparing for change
Again, make sure the reasons for change are in line with your overall business objectives. Think carefully through all the implications and if risky, pilot the change before full-scale implementation. Make any adjustments needed, along with a phased timetable to focus people’s minds.
Selling the change
Whatever the area of change, you need the co-operation of your employees to make any improvement as resistance is the biggest stumbling block to successful change. Change for a good reason should allow the idea to be accepted by those involved.
Set up a professional and sensitive communications process to those who will be affected, explain the benefits and highlight the cost of not changing, allowing time for reasoned objectives. Once people are certain that change is going ahead, they begin to come to terms with the plan.
Make some bold early moves to let people know that change is really happening. Communicate the benefits of the change and continually monitor progress against the original plans tackling any obstacles as they arise. Point out the benefits achieved and how the business has moved on as this will show the value of change.
Even small changes can backfire spectacularly if they are not handled sensitively. The key to successfully managing change is to treat the individuals with respect. Make sure you consult with those affected before implementing any change and provide advance warning to allow any preparations or adjustments to be made.
There are many external and internal influences that can drive change in a business however if the process is managed correctly the journey can lead to success.
“If you would like more information on: “How to manage change in your business” then please contact your local Ology Coach now!