Effective Change Management Requires Creative Means to Involve All Stakeholders

While change is inevitable, the change process is still largely threatening to employees who go through it.  The business structure that will stem from an effective change management process should strengthen the organization, but it is important to help your employees work through the emotional and psychological implications of such change.

It is not the employees who have the responsibility to manage change; rather, leadership is responsible for helping employees process change in the healthiest manner.  Fortunately, there are a few change management tips, provided by Harvard Business School Professor John P. Kotter, that effectively guide management in supporting employees through the transitions:

1. Provide urgency for your employees so they will feel the need for change.  You must also make the objectives real, relevant, and achievable for them.

2. Build a guiding team that boasts the right skills, knowledge, and belief in the change.  These individuals should possess a balance of each of these characteristics so they may earn the credibility necessary to guide the transition.

3. Have the guiding team develop a simple vision and strategy that generates the necessary emotional and creative aspects.

4. Communicate the plan and its necessity to your employee audience so they will feel safe buying-in.  Leverage your guiding team and frequent communications via technology to build this support.

5. Empower your employees to comment on and ask questions about the plan.  Also make certain to celebrate processes that move your company toward the desired outcome.

6. Create short-term goals that will allow your employees to celebrate the milestones along the longer journey.

7. Don’t let up on the process.  Change always takes time and thought, so don’t expect huge transformations overnight.

8. Ensure that new changes will remain in effect by recruiting, promoting, and changing leaders.

Effective change management must be designed.  If all the steps are not considered, then true change is unlikely to occur.  However, with the right supports in place and an ample amount of patience,  your organization will benefit greatly from such evolution.


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