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Oct 19, 201710:58 AMLeader to Leader

with Terry Siebert

Staying on top of the organizational change process

(page 1 of 2)

Engaging workplace change can be an unpredictable experience because processes and people evolve in diverse ways. No two individuals will respond in exactly the same way to workplace changes. In the same way, identical changes implemented in multiple areas of an organization can produce distinctly different outcomes. These tips show you how to stay on top of the change engagement process by thoroughly preparing for it, while allowing for various outcomes. These tips allow you to take a structured approach to organizational change and still maintain flexibility.

1. Motivation for change
Change begins at the point where the organization finds a motivation for change. Sometimes external issues drive the change, like reorganizations, management changes, relocations, or acquisitions/mergers. Other times, internal forces such as upgraded technology, expansions and growth, or continuous improvement drive the change.

2. Analyze the situation
As the organization becomes progressively more motivated to change, leadership undertakes a thorough analysis of the risks and opportunities associated with the proposed change:

  • What are the potential gains in undertaking the change?
  • What are the costs?
  • What are the risks of making the change?
  • What are the risks of not making the change?

3. Plan the direction
Once an organization determines that opportunities outweigh the risks of making the change, it develops a plan for change implementation. Many organizational change initiatives fail because of lack of careful, thorough planning. In this step, the stage is set for the ultimate success or failure of the change. Key elements of the plan must include:

  • Planning for the impact of the change on individuals who will be most affected.
  • Planning for the impact of the change on the systems within the organization that will be most affected.
  • A step-by-step plan for integrating the change into the organization.
  • A review plan to measure the success of the proposed change.

4. Implement the change
Depending on the type and scope of the change, implementation within the organization may be gradual or abrupt. Changes such as layoffs or acquisitions often are implemented with little prior warning, whereas staffing, reorganization, or technology changes may be phased in over a period of time. The team’s most critical role in this step of the change process is to maintain open, honest lines of communication with each other.

  • Define individual responsibilities.
  • Announce and launch the change.
  • Adhere to timetables.
  • Promote the anticipated benefits of the change.

(Continued)

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Known for his Dale Carnegie training expertise, Terry Siebert is writing to inspire leaders to reach their greatest potential. Leadership, today more than ever, may mean the difference between closing the doors or opening new markets. Every month, he'll post help with mindset, business tools and more.

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