Friday, May 15, 2015

How to Detail Change Management Process

Organizations are a huge melting pot of various personalities and diverse mindsets.

Change becomes the new normal. However, in some organizations, the management team lives in an illusional world when they 'assume' that their employees will accept change in a gracious manner. Obviously, it doesn't work. How would you go about detailing a 'Change Management' Process? When would you communicate that to your employees and how should you ensure their buy-in to this new directive?

Balance: First of all, change management is all about balancing the main elements impacting change: People (the most important one), Strategies, Processes/ Procedures and IT. And Change Management have to maintain and fix any imbalance in those elements by involving the executives in the HR, IT and operations, and establishing a formal committee, to make sure all of the management is on board and educated well on the change objectives and how to carry them out effectively. How you do this will tie into the cultural and philosophical values you project to the organization as a leader. You need to not only sell the policy but also sell values on culture and philosophy. Organizations are a huge melting pot of various personalities and depending on the generations the comprised employees belong to, 'change' is probably the last thing on their minds, regardless of how enthusiastic the management team is. Therefore, it needs a solid organizational culture that is built on the foundations of “accepting change.” Having a Change Management agenda ready, with planned and ensured communication from top to down would highly help in building the new culture.

Leadership: Ownership and accountability of change management lie in the capable hands of the executive team. Change Management is the leaders' game and leadership involvement is a must. One thing about buy-in - it always fails when management thinks they got all the answers and they come up with a plan in a vacuum and try to sell; the democratic change process is to have the team own a process by bringing them in early and getting their involvement in creating the process. Management needs to allow the cross-functional change community to have a voice for feedback, a much-needed mechanism to refine and fix the policy that is not functioning at an optimal level. As a leader, you must become an architecture of change community creation, then you need to be able to step back and allow the community to self-govern, this is what you must strive for. And the management job is to make the final call and make sure the team adheres to the process and they know why it's needed and what it fixes or improves.

Process: Break down the change process into phases and communicate each phase to employees on time. Without strong-honest communication, early engagement of staff in the plan, rumors will hinder your progress. In order to execute a successful change management process, there is a need to delegate roles and responsibilities of the process, and have a strong honest communication plan in place. Make each individual feel responsible for the success of the plan, engage them actively and make sure that your new proposal solves their current problems, and provide a better working environment. During the whole process, make sure that all staff is aware of the plan/process, timely updated, and responsible for something. Make your plan flexible and implement changes based on staff feedback. Because people are always at the center of changes. You want to emphasize on the Human Resources role in the change management as people are always considered as the real axle for the organizational movement. Because people's resistance could stop all other elements. Change management part which is played by the HR is factor number one for any successful organizational & Strategic Change Management.

Change needs to be human-centered. People should know "where you are driving them to" and " what's on it for them." Therefore, besides a complete realistic plan, the KISS principle, you need to gain important marketing skills before committing the Change Management Journey.


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