July 17, 2024


Profitable business

Change Management – Strategies For Managing Change – A Practitioners Quick Guide

5 min read

Before proceeding with a proposed change initiative, you need to be very clear about this:

# The organisational need for the change
# The specifics of what will change
# The benefits of the change
# The impacts of the change

Here is a Practitioners Quick Guide to a change initiative. It is based on these simple, fundamental questions:

(1) Blueprint for change – why am I doing this and how is it going to be different when I’ve made the change?

The more detail and clarity you have about this, the greater the chance you have of being able to communicate it to your staff and customers – and the higher the probability that you will actually achieve it! In terms of how your changed organisation will be different, you need to know precisely:

# How it will be different?
# Where it will be different?
# Why it will be different?
# When it will be different?

(2) Benefits of change– how is it going to benefit the organisation and how will I know it has benefited the organisation?

For each anticipated benefit you need to know the following:
# Description – what precisely is it?
# Source – What new capabilities will make it possible?
# Observation – what differences should be noticeable before and after?
# Attribution – where in the future business operations does it arise?
# Measurement – how will it be measured?
# Dependencies – on other projects, tasks, risks and issues?
# Timescales – when is it expected to occur and over what period of time will realisation of the benefit take place?
# Management – who is responsible for ensuring that the organisational change delivers the benefit

(3) Impacts of change – who is it going to affect, how will it affect them and how will they react?

Recognise the difference between organisational change and the individual transition – the emotional dimensions that accompanies those changes:

# Transition is not the same as change
# Change is what happens to you – externally
# Transition is what you experience – internally

3 simple questions to start the process

# What is changing?
# What will actually be different because of the change?
# Who is going to lose what?

(4) Communicating change – what can I do to help them accept the change and to get them “on side”?

The single biggest barrier to effective workplace communication in a change management situation is quite simply the disconnection between the change leader and those who are or will be impacted by the change.

The key FACTUAL questions that your communication strategy needs to address:

# What are the objectives?
# What are the key messages?
# Who are you trying to reach?
# What information will be communicated?
# When will information be disseminated, and what are the relevant timings?
# How much information will be provided, and to what level of detail?
# What mechanisms will be used to disseminate information?
# How will feedback be encouraged?
# What will be done as a result of feedback?

The key EMOTIONAL questions that your communication strategy needs to address:

# What is changing?
# Clearly express the change leader’s understanding and intention
# What will actually be different because of the change?
# Who is going to lose what?

(5) Risks of change – what risks and issues do i have to face and how can i mitigate those risks?

The preparation for and documentation of the Blueprint for change will have identified most of the issues that you are likely to face. You now need to take this a stage further and examines risk in terms of the:

# Potential
# Likelihood
# Timing
# Impact

Risk is assessed across various levels:

# Strategic level
# Programme level
# Project level
# Operational or “business as usual” level

The risk assessment process should involve all key stakeholders who are impacted by the change. The risks are logged in a risk log and regularly reviewed.

(6) Steps to change – what steps do I have to take to make the changes and get the benefit?
This is the area where most people are strongest and focus most of their attention: “What steps do I have to take to make the changes and the get the benefit of this change?”

Key elements include:

# Your first big decision is the “Business as Usual” test – is it Incremental Change or a Step Change? If it’s a step change, then you need some form of structured methodology and people to fulfil the leadership and management roles.
# A project management led approach is not enough. You need the wider perspective of a programme-based approach to manage the links, overlaps and dependencies between tasks and projects, and to apply the principles outlined in this guide.
# As you plan the change initiative, you need an overall schedule of all of the initiatives and projects that are going to deliver the new capabilities that will realise the benefits.
# This needs to be supported by the collation of all project documentation e.g. business case, description, dependencies, risks, deliverables, dates etc.
# The over-riding purpose of the programme plan is to ensure that nothing jeopardises the delivery of the capabilities and realisation of the benefits

(7) Leading and managing change – how am I going to lead and manage all this so that it happens and I succeed?

Most change methods ignore the emotional dimension of the personal transition. Ignoring the transition is a major cause of change resistance and change failure. Leading your people through this transition is as important as managing the organisational change

Many directors and senior managers have the emotional detachment and objectivity to make clear, sound strategic decisions yet seem to lack the “counter-balancing” self-awareness and emotional intelligence to realise the impact of their decisions. This omission frequently [and unnecessarily] delays or jeopardises the implementation of their strategic vision and the realisation of the organisational benefits

The primary causes of failure in change initiatives are all people related, and to do with emotions. So change leadership requires some very special qualities in the person[s] leading the change. This is more to do with “being” than “doing”. What you do, and how you do it will be largely determined by how you are as a person.

# Are you inspired in your heart and mind, and do you show it?
# Are you connected to yourself, the world and the people around you? [I don’t mean as a concept but as felt or sensed reality]?
# Do you have a vision and communicate it with passion and purpose?
# Do you allow your emotion to speak to others in a way that transcends their mind, and speaks to their heart?
# Do you pay personal attention to others in a way that engages them and generates their trust and commitment?
# Do you genuinely care about others, what they want, and how you can help them meet their objectives as well as yours?

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