As I prepared to blog about our recent visit from Greg Dekker – Teknion Workplace Strategy Director, who presented a CEU on, “Change Management,” I googled “Change Management,” as to best define the popular conversation topic; in this case, Wiki says it best.
Change Management – Globalization and the constant innovation of technology result in a constantly evolving business environment. Phenomena such as social media and mobile adaptability have revolutionized business and the effect of this is an ever increasing need for change, and therefore change management. The growth in technology also has a secondary effect of increasing the availability and therefore accountability of knowledge. Easily accessible information has resulted in unprecedented scrutiny from stockholders and the media and pressure on management.
With the business environment experiencing so much change, organizations must then learn to become comfortable with change as well. Therefore, the ability to manage and adapt to organizational change is an essential ability required in the workplace today. Yet, major and rapid organizational change is profoundly difficult because the structure, culture, and routines of organizations often reflect a persistent and difficult-to-remove “imprint” of past periods, which are resistant to radical change even as the current environment of the organization changes rapidly.
Due to the growth of technology, modern organizational change is largely motivated by exterior innovations rather than internal moves. When these developments occur, the organizations that adapt quickest create a competitive advantage for themselves, while the companies that refuse to change get left behind. This can result in drastic profit and/or market share losses.
Organizational change directly affects all departments from the entry level employee to senior management. The entire company must learn how to handle changes to the organization.
So, yeah, what Wiki said. Change is the only constant in life; change or become obsolete…and recognize that when change occurs, it directly effects all aspects of an organization; internal and external.
Greg’s approach to change management could largely be summed up as, “Listen, teach, promote.” In fact, that’s exactly the exercise he uses to close his CEU.
Within the framework of Listen -Teach- Promote, keep these tips in mind:
Pushback to change is based in FEAR. Help your teams identify and address those fears. (see Blog Part 2 for some ideas shared on how to engage your team in activities to uncover those fears. How’s that for a cliffhanger?)
Be consistent with your message – tell the WHY for the change, WHAT they GET with the change, WHAT stays the SAME, WHAT they get MORE of, WHAT they get LESS of, and WHAT is being TRADED (this for that).
The messages on change should come from two sources CEO – or highest level and that team’s/employee’s Direct Supervisor. Do this face to face preferably!
Plan for opposition; address the “elephant in the room.” If there is a known topic of opposition, acknowledge it from the get go of the conversations.
Stay tuned for our next blog on some tools and resources on how to engage conversations unveiling fears and opposition regarding change in our upcoming blog!