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Managing Change: 22 key themes for leaders

Published 5th December 2013 by IIP Scotland

Change has become so prevalent within organisations that it has almost become the norm.

So how a successful change management programme can be implemented? There are many nuanced factors of both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ variation that must be taken into consideration in order for a programme to succeed.

Here then, is a rundown of some of the important themes that every leader would do well to consider:-

1. Focus and clarity of vision

Is this clear?

2. Good leadership

Is required more than ever.  Employees will look to leaders for guidance and support

3. Communication

It is imperative that communication is ramped up so that every person who is affected knows exactly what will be happening and why

4. Involvement and collaboration

Change programmes are more likely to succeed should employees be given specific agreed upon roles within the programme, and then be held accountable for the success thereof of that role

5. Managing your assets

Make the best use of the people and resources you have at your disposal eg, by putting the highest performers on the most demanding tasks

6. Different reactions

Each reaction will be based upon the level of resilience that an employee has. Remember that some employees will be comfortable with change while others will be scared

7. Fundamental needs of employees

While much focus will be placed upon the change programme it is important to remember that the fundamental needs of employees must still be met

8. Loss curve

All employees will experience a feeling of loss and confusion before coming round to acceptance and a knowledge that they can move forward

9. Meeting expectations

Promises, expectations and commitments must all be adhered to

10. Dealing with fears

And changed into a belief in the vision

11. Creating urgency

Wherever possible to combat stagnation and procrastination

12. Coalitions to create a powerful dialogue

Have a powerful coalition that can drive the change and ensure that there is a dialogue with the entire workforce

13. Removing obstacles

Wherever possible make the journey as smooth as possible by removing any and all obstacles

14. Building on the change

Build incrementally until you’ve reached a winning position!

15. Anchoring changes in culture

By creating short term wins

16. Incentives

Provide incentives where necessary or pertinent

17. Assessing the present situation clearly

In order to reach a goal, you must know what your starting position is

18. Identifying the current capabilities

Have a clear idea of what your team is capable of and what may need to be build upon

19. Identifying current mind sets that must change

And identify a strategy to change them

20. Engaging with the workforce at the earliest opportunity

And set in motion that communication strategy!

21. Breaking down programmes into initiatives

Create responsibility for each initiative and build incrementally

22. Leaders ensuring that frontline staff feel ownership for change

Delegate responsibility while also providing leadership

So there we have the short list of a few things that are worth thinking about before planning any period of change.

At Investors in People we are conscious of how stressful change can be, and how damaging it can be if it has not handled correctly. Fortunately, help is at hand.  Our IIP Practitioners are experts in change management and are guiding organisations through muddy waters towards bright horizons right now.