One of the primary things I do as a Career Coach is to consult companies and organizations going through changes.
Sometimes it’s changes in process, other times ownership or leadership. But the point is that when changes hit, people generally struggle embracing that change. I recently read an article that I feel articulates the need for actionable, intentional change management:
Think about a recent implementation you completed (or are the midst of completing). Did you install a new software system? Get a new coffee machine in the break room? Move your old fax system to cloud fax? Or initiate a new method for order management? In the workplace there is change all around us, and it’s not going away. The unfortunate side effect of change is the inevitable fact that some people just do not like it. These people can often create a huge barrier in the success of a project, by easily turning others against the situation representing the change. In turn, the project at hand [that is costing your company a lot of time and resources] has a higher likelihood of not performing to its greatest capabilities, all due to one person who was resistant to the change simply because they “have always done it this way.”
The thought is that organizations should identify a person who is accountable for managing the change. Maybe it’s someone who works there already, or perhaps it is a consultant like myself who can come in with no preconceived notions.
As the article explains, the next phase looks like this:
The idea of building and maintaining a coalition starts in the very early stages of a project/goal. Any new feat should always be handled and communicated appropriately to all of the stakeholders. Better yet, create a team comprised of those who know the goal and are interlaced into the strategy to move the goal/project forward. Keep this team engaged with the rest of your staff to ensure that all aspects of the project are known.
Have you ever dealt with change in your organization? How did you approach it? What worked and what would you change?