Steps To Effective Change Management

16 October 2012

Change management is a complex process which varies according to each individual organization’s needs. There will be different approaches taken depending on a wide range of factors including the type of organisation, the change objectives and the external environment.

However, there are 5 fundamental steps which need to  be part of any effective change management program.  These steps form the foundation for managing change.  The steps below provide insight into how to manage change effectively:

Step 1 – Build The Case For Change

The first step in any change management program is to establish the case for change. This provides the foundation for the whole change process. You know when you have done this successfully when team members can explain why they, and you, are implementing the changes.

Step 2 – Share The Vision And Values

Once you have established why change is necessary, the next stage is to communicate the vision for the future. What will the organization look like once the changes are implemented? How will things be improved? What are the positive benefits for the organization, team, individuals and customers?

Creating a set of values and sharing these in the early stages of the change process will help to prepare people for the impact of the change and make dealing with challenges and setbacks less problematic in the later stages.

Step 3 – Resources And Information

Change management programs need to be adequately resourced and effectively project managed in order to achieve their objectives. Resources include people, finance, facilities, IT, MI and many other elements. Change fails when these things have not been considered and change is not prioritized effectively or given the commitment it requires.

Step 4 – Management And Leadership Capability

Ensuring that managers and leaders possess the capability to manage change is crucial. It is important to consider the specific skills and behaviors which will be required from managers and leaders in order to direct and drive the change through the organization. Attending a good change management training course will equip people with the essential skills to implement and manage change well.

Step 5 – Communication

Good communication throughout every stage of the change process is vital to keep everyone informed and motivation levels high. The extent to which the change is effectively communicated will have a direct bearing on whether it succeeds or fails. Inevitably, change will involve delivering some difficult messages and these need to be communicated in an empathetic and supportive way.

Following these 5 fundamental steps will dramatically help you increase the chances of shaping and implementing your change management program successfully.

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