Time for ‘Change’? Let’s ‘Manage’ it to secure the best outcome.

Those who know me will know a favourite expression of mine is “If you continue to travel the same path as you always have, you will inevitably end up at the same destination”.

If you want to …

  • Grow (in confidence or self-worth)
  • Improve sales and/or profits
  • Try different avenues within your business field
  • Have your team or team members take on different responsibilities
  • Change your direction with the path you’re currently on

It’s critical you manage the change, or as many will know “Change Management”. But is it that easy?

I recently worked with a CEO concerning an awkward issue and one that ultimately changed the direction that some people were already heading. By truly recognising what the barriers were (both real and presumed) we worked through a programme of events giving a very clear outcome making it not only real but also manageable.

Much like their situation, should you be in the process of or considering change within your company or personal life, but with so many other things stepping in the way to gain that clarity, this may well help get you on track for a successful outcome.

  1. Create a ‘Change Plan’ – Before you can start any changes, it is crucial that you formulate a project plan looking at why change is necessary, a timeline, the major tasks involved and how it will be implemented. Assess all the possible options available, then select the most appropriate. Keep any other ideas for back-up. Allow it to breathe so it’s a work in progress of which improvements can be introduced.
  2. Clear Direction (Establish a persuasive case and a sense of urgency) – It’s no good having changes just because you’re bored of the way things are! There HAS to be understanding as to why change is necessary and that a clear set of arguments for change is laid out. Not only this, but a planned ‘action’ timescale for it to be within. Although emotions will be involved, try to step away and look at it logically.
  3. Clear Leadership (& ownership) –Not only from the leader(s) but for the teams and members of the organisation too. Should there be more than one leader, then a united front needs to be forged to give a clear message to all affected. Once established, accountability is given to introduce ownership. ‘R.A.C.I.’ is a great model for this (Responsibility, Accountability, Consult, Inform). Coaching to Success are here to help with this.
  4. Consistent Communications (Early and often) – I have to admit that this is my biggest gripe with most businesses. With all the means to communicate, this is still one of the core problems affecting most organisations. Poor communication is the bane of many a working environment. It is critical that poor communication is NOT a factor when change is imminent. There’s an old adage that goes “Tell them what you’re going to tell them… Tell them… and tell them what you told them”. Make sure the message is as clear as day. People perceive things in their own manner which may well be different from the intended outcome. Keep re-enforcing and making sure everyone involved are kept up to date with progress. Do not simply rely on ‘email’ to get your message out. Use face to face through to conferences to presentations to text (if it helps!). To be kept informed insures that innocent comments or ideas don’t grow to uncontrollable monsters.
  5. Maintain & Measure the Progress – Once the change has been started, make sure the momentum is kept up and communications (as stated before) are flowing. If those affected by change don’t see what’s happening, they can easily ‘presume’ that the change will not be happening, or they presume the ‘Need’ has also dissipated! As part of the original plan, develop the relevant milestones which can be celebrated loudly at every juncture. This then keeps the process clear in everyone’s mind so that all can work towards it.
  6. Anchor New Approaches – People need to see the change and the leadership team’s role is to insure that this is embedded in. This can be brought about by recognising and reinforcing the positive behaviours in those directly involved; Insure the ‘Vision’ is kept alive by communicating it; Create the ‘We’ approach rather than the ‘Them or They’; Set challenging and realistic goals; Show clear links between the objectives set and the team success; Recognise those individuals or teams that do well and celebrate as a team. Finally, from the offset, make the ‘New’ way the ‘Normal’ way!

These are the outline areas for a successful transition of change. Each case of change is unique to the company or individual and helping to gain that clarity, as we did with the CEO, is what we’re about.

To gain this for yourself, contact Neil neil.nutburn@coachingtosuccess.co.uk or 07761 187238 to arrange a free consultation on how Coaching to Success can help you. Also, our short ‘interview’ video can be seen at https://youtu.be/RvCwOL4hPco.