Leading organisational change

Posted by Roxanne Chugg

The very best organisations are agile and able to implement and sustain change and improvement. Further to our change blog last week, here's this week's blog on "leading organisational change".

Deciding what to change is one thing. Making changes stick so that they become "the way we do business" is another… here's some tips to guide you:

  1. Lay the foundation
    • Why is change necessary? What is the sense of urgency?
    • What are the drivers? What are the logical and compelling reasons for change?
    • What are the restrainers; what are the barriers and roadblocks to a successful implementation of change?
    • How can we build a solid business case for the change?
    • How do we prepare a road-map for the change?
    • How can we communicate why the change is happening in a convincing manner to people?
    • How can we say this so employees will understand? How do we help our people understand "what's in it for them"
    • How is the proposed change aligned with our Strategic Plan?
    • What is the end state vision? How clear and compelling is this vision?
    • Who will form the guiding coalition? Who will help with the change?
    • What will tell us that we’ve been successful?
    • How can we paint a picture of what success will be like for people?
    • Have we incorporated new values and attitudes to weave into our culture so they are embedded?
  2. Understand what we need to know
    • What’s actually going to change? What will people have to give up?
    • Who will feel threatened by the change and how will we deal with their concerns?
    • Do people have the skills, capability and capacity needed to implement and adopt the new system?
    • How well do people trust their leadership to lead the change to a successful outcome?
    • Who are the informal leaders or change agents who can help advocate for the change?
    • Who are the supporters of the change and how can we leverage their support?
  3. Plan for the change
    • When and how will the change be introduced and reinforced?
    • How can we remove obstacles and celebrate and share the wins/successes?
    • What communications will we need? Who are the right people to communicate those messages?
    • What can we do to keep the information flow two way, timely and clear to all stakeholders?
    • How can we involve some of the people affected by the change?
    • How can we leverage employees knowledge and empowerment?
    • How can we arrange for people to be coached and supported during the change?
    • What training will people need?
  4. Implement the change effectively
    • How well do people understand what we’re saying about the change?
    • What do our measures of success tell us about our progress? How do we reflect on what’s working and what's not? What are we learning as we implement?
    • How well are we reinforcing positive behavior? How well are we dealing with undesirable behaviour?
    • How can we motivate and support people during this change?
    • What are our plans in order of priority to manage resistance?
  5. Embed the change
    • How can we make this change become the norm? How will this become "this is the way we do it now"
    • How well have we addressed the issues we set out to solve?
    • What will we do to recognise and reward achievements?
    • What remains to be done?
    • What are our next steps?
  6. Review the change
    • How do we debrief?
    • What worked well? Did not work welll?
    • How can we build this into organisational knowledge and systems?

"This is the best example of change management I've seen, thanks Roxanne."

Senior Executive, Local Government Tasmania

How does your organisation implement change?