Businesses must constantly evolve and adapt to meet a variety of challenges—from changes in technology to the rise of new competitors to a shift in laws, regulations, or underlying economic trends. Failure to do so could lead to stagnation or, worse, failure.
Approximately 50 percent of all organizational change initiatives are ineffective, highlighting why getting help from a consultant to plan for, coordinate, and carry out change can help managers and business leaders alike increase their organization’s overall impact.
WHAT IS CHANGE MANAGEMENT?
Organizational change refers broadly to the actions a business takes to change or adjust a significant component of its organization. This may include company culture, internal processes, underlying technology or infrastructure, corporate hierarchy, or another critical aspect.
Crafting a Vision and Planning for Change
Once the organization is ready to embrace change, managers must develop a thorough and realistic plan for bringing it about. The plan should detail:
- Strategic goals: What goals does this change help the organization work toward?
- Key performance indicators: How will success be measured? What metrics need to be moved? What’s the baseline for how things currently stand?
- Project stakeholders and team: Who will oversee the task of implementing change? Who needs to sign off at each critical stage? Who will be responsible for implementation?
- Project scope: What discrete steps and actions will the project include? What falls outside of the project scope?
MANAGING CHANGE EFFECTIVELY
While no two change initiatives are the same, they typically follow a similar process. To effectively manage change, managers and business leaders must thoroughly understand the steps involved.
Some other tips for managing change include asking yourself questions like:
- What’s happening to make change necessary? Without this understanding, it can be difficult to effectively address the underlying causes that have necessitated change, hampering your ability to succeed.
- Whats the plan? Without a detailed plan and defined strategy, it can be difficult to usher a change initiative through to completion.
- How will change be communicated? Successful change management requires effective communication with both your team members and key stakeholders. Designing a communication strategy with a consultant can help.
DEVELOPING THE SKILLS YOU NEED FOR SUCCESS
Once the change initiative has been completed, change managers must prevent a reversion to the prior state or status quo. This is particularly important for organizational change related to processes, workflows, culture, and strategies. Without an adequate plan, employees may backslide into the “old way” of doing things, particularly during the transitory period.
Conducting analysis and review, or a “project post mortem,” can help business leaders understand whether a change initiative was a success, failure, or mixed result. It can also offer valuable insights and lessons that can be leveraged in future change efforts.
By embedding changes within the company’s culture and practices, it becomes more difficult for backsliding to occur. New organizational structures, controls, and reward systems should all be considered as tools to help change stick.
If you’ve been asked to lead a change initiative within your organization, or you’d like help to position your organization to take on such projects in the future, it’s critical to begin laying the groundwork for success by talking with a consultant to develop the right path to equip your organization and get the job done right.
Does your organization need help to manage change? Speak with one of our consultants and find out how we can help. Take charge of change for your nonprofit or organization’s development and get equipped with the right tools you will need for change management.