In today’s business environment “change” isn’t simply the scenery that goes by as the company evolves. Change is the journey. We might even say that it’s also the destination. To thrive, or even survive, businesses must be able to perform, while being in a constant state of flux, as they restructure, downsize and redefine their market strategies.
But even after a few years of intense uncertainty and change, companies still seem to struggle with two things:
- Accepting that change is a given, and,
- Understanding the importance of managing that change
Each month, AchieveGlobal hosts an online poll through our eNewsletter, Achieve. In August, our survey asked, “When thinking of a recent change that happened within your organization, do you believe the change management was handled effectively?”
How organizations view their recent change management initiatives:
Alarmingly, 69% of respondents responded, “No, the change was handled poorly.” This means that many companies have significant work to do in how they handle change.
Our recent article Change is a Given: Now What? outlines mistakes that companies make when facing organizational change:
- Executives don’t keep employees in the loop about the change
- Senior management doesn’t listen to the concerns and ideas of workers
- Middle managers feel excluded and resist cooperating with change
- Leaders suffer information-overload and are distracted from opportunities to focus on the
human aspects of change
Yet 31% of our survey participants said that the change went well. So what did their companies likely do to ensure that change was handled successfully? It’s quite likely that these companies engaged in some combination of these 10 leadership practices that build change capability:
- Share with employees both the good and the bad realities.
- Spotlight workers who are managing, guiding and facilitating change effectively.
- Embrace experimentation so that workers can learn from their mistakes.
- Encourage individual contributions to change by building meaningful involvement.
- Keep everyone informed of change on all levels.
- Maintain open channels of communication to encourage valuable feedback.
- Put measurement strategies in place to gauge what’s working and what’s not.
- Use resources wisely.
- Adjust processes that are slowing progress.
- Address and respond to resistance to the change with firmness and compassion.
As you can see from the list of these 10 best practices, real change takes more than formalizing a process or series of projects. It takes a change-capable culture.
To subscribe to our monthly newsletter, Achieve and participate in our regular polls, visit http://www.achieveglobal.com/research-and-resources/enewsletters.aspx