Change management has become the watchword for many negatives in business. Yet it need not be as unpleasant as it has a reputation for.
We can choose to set our managerial stalls out to embrace change and see it as new challenges that stimulate and test us – or we can face the other way and resist.
For us as managers, the skills we need to manage change are in constant demand. When you work in a focused way with careful preparation and planning, those negatives can be minimized.
Change can become a positive and stimulating experience in your business or organization – if you let it be.
The very best change management efforts come in simple, almost imperceptible steps – like the small course corrections a 747 jumbo makes crossing the ocean to get to its destination.
Great managers of change create excellent results, because they…
1. Communicate Well
They invest their time in having regular and open conversations with their people (informally as well as formally) and embrace them in finding win-win solutions to change.
2. Have A Clear Vision
Really understand where the business is going after doing collaborative visioning work with their people and are able to share it enthusiastically and effectively.
3. Are Consistent
Every activity within a change process is delivered in line with a fair, trusted and honest plan – no exceptions for anyone – even themselves.
4. Have Great Rapport
Easy change processes are delivered because these leaders have already sown the seeds by building close relationships with their people.
5. Are Trusted
Their people know their leader cares and is doing the best he or she can for the good of as many as possible. Their behaviors are such that their people trust them as far as possible because their experiences to date show them they can.
6. Plan Well
Good change managers have considered all options (often under advisement from their people through discussion); have decided the best value case and have checked what will and what won’t work, with no surprises.
7. Have a Disciplined Approach
They stick closely to the planned process and timescales for the changes to be made, building confidence in themselves, whilst ensuring that their team sees they mean business.
8. Stick to Their Guns
The best change managers do not shift from the agreed outcomes, whatever emotional pressures they face and they are still able to show flexibility where common sense dictates it so. The outcomes are fixed.
9. Treat People Well
They honor people for themselves and treat them with respect and dignity in these often tense times, going the extra mile to provide counselling and support up to a point where the individual needs to understand fully that the change is going to happen.
10. Are Results Focused
Make decisions based on true value-creation and use that very objectively as their over-riding goal. They do not lose sight of the purpose of change and they enthusiastically underwrite it, even if it has been imposed organizationally on them.
Good change managers are able to be respected themselves by their people, because of their professional approach and the way they work with their people as they progress that change activity.
Often, the best change managers are capable of installing routine change as simply a way of life and, with their people, embrace it as such, with a zest for the challenge.