Land Your Changes Safely

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Like most leaders, you likely spent a fair amount of energy creating and implementing changes in your organization last year.  Don’t waste that energy by failing to follow up a few months after the change is implemented and ensure all the wheels are still on the bus: the frequent assumption that everyone took initiative to incorporate your wonderful change into their part of the operation is… a fatal mistake.

Each business change follows a similar cycle of being announced, launched, and resisted.  Then it battles through the crucible to find the right fit that adjusts the vision to the reality that will produce the result that prompted the change.  After changes reach the implementation stage, there is more to do: by implementation, we mean adjustments have been made, new practices have been adopted and documented, and results of new practices are being measured.

At this point, most of us are exhausted and ready to wrap-up this change-project!  And it is true that we need to give it some traction at this point – to establish habits and collect baseline measures.  But beware of tying that bow too quickly!  Here is a list of operations aspects that could derail the hard work you put in last year!

CHECK FOR POST-CHANGE BLIND-SPOTS

Strategic Plans – Look to the future and prepare for how your change impacts next steps the business will take; it may need tweaks or updates to maintain effectiveness.

Recurring Processes – Check the adoption of your change by each operational process it touches; other process owners are often last to communicate, adopt, measure and update their SOPs with others’ changes.

Compensation Practices – Ensure pay structures, spiffs, recognition, and teams are adjusted to align with modifications to responsibility levels, revenue impacts and work schedules.

Current Projects – Partner with owners of projects planned or started during your launch cycle; verify any aspects of your change that need to be woven into their project plan or results.

Company-wide Communication – Be aware that it is often years before changes are documented in orientation, marketing, websites or global SOP resources.

Individual Priorities – Drive the provisions for development of new skills and behaviors and for adjustments to employee goals and performance measures; without these drivers, employee enthusiasm to implement your change could soon waver.

We are here to help your team successfully navigate those choppy change-management waters.  From understanding the dangers to customizing a strategy to get safely to your destination with your crew engaged: tell us about your change-challenge!

Find more of what you need by opening our BOX of BLOGS from 2017

Be the Hero; Lead Change

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Strategic business plans are critical when change is required in an organization; one of those plans has probably landed on your desk for every business change you’ve faced.  Maybe you write the plans, but you know each one is useless unless someone works the plan.  You cannot work the plan alone – you need engaged people to work it – every time.

Even good changes stink: performance drops, processes break, projects die, rumors multiply, emotions soar, dependable people leave, customers doubt, budgets fail… the list goes on.  Do the leaders around you continue to think their strategic plans will be enough to carry everyone through this chaos?

FOUNDATIONS TO LEADING THE EXECUTION OF CHANGE

Communicate, communicate, communicate!

  • You can’t over communicate; your communication can be ineffective.
  • Communicate wisely – you can communicate the wrong thing, at the wrong time, in the wrong way….
  • Communicate often – the kaleidoscope of emotions & needs of your audience is ever-fluctuating.
  • Communicate consistently – people must trust that the communication will come:
    • Create audience listening/reading habits, use the same format
    • Build confidence in service/product resources, keep updates current

Move fast to implementation!

  • We define implementation as the time when the changes are used universally and metrics are identified and measured with consistency.
  • Productivity doesn’t usually move in a positive direction until the changes are accepted as ‘business as usual.’

Ensure consistent application of new methods!

  • We naturally return to old habits if/when we get distracted or don’t see value in the new way.
  • It is critical to build in accountability and checks & balance systems to ensure the new ways are being executed correctly and consistently.

Equip employees to manage change!

  • Executing change without the people is futile…
  • Be the heroes… equip the people to work the plan effectively; that is the only way to keep them engaged for the long haul of working through the challenges, finding the solutions and living the dream described in the strategic plan that landed on your desk.
  • Each culture is unique, ask for help to customize the basics to equip your team or employee base.

No one wants to be the one leading the charge – for fear they may be the first to fall….  But preparing everyone to charge means someone must lead the preparation.  Employees want to see your plan succeed – prepare them, so more of you can charge forward together & find support through the fray.  Contact us to discuss strategies for equipping your people to execute successful change.

Find more of what you need by opening our BOX of BLOGS from 2017