3 Core Tenets Driving Effective Change Management

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December 12, 2016 | Karima Mariama-Arthur, Esq. | HCI

Change is an inevitable component of growth for organizations across every industry. And, while embracing the status quo may feel more convenient than confronting it, disruption is a driving force in successfully transforming organizations around the globe.

Even still, if change is not managed well, it can have a chilling effect on the people, processes, systems and technology that are expected to adapt to it.

Are you prepared to effectively manage change within your organization? Consider the following core tenets that help to successfully drive it:

1. Prioritizing the human aspects.

While change involves various moving parts, one of the most critical and least prioritized, are an organization’s human capital—its people. For change to be compelling and galvanize people towards it, an organization must provide a “holistic perspective  [where] ‘The psychology of change management’” is concerned, explain Emily Lawson and Colin Price of McKinsey and Company in a relevant article. This idea apparently suggests that “four basic conditions must take place before employees will change their behavior [in a way that supports the change]: a) a compelling story; b) role modeling; c) reinforcing mechanisms; and d) capability building.”

By prioritizing how your must valued resource will respond to and be effected by change, you can get ahead of any barriers to effectiveness by ensuring that the transformation is a thoughtful, collaborative and supportive process.

2. Communicating strategically.

Because change happens in stages, it is important to consider key messaging, as well as how and when to communicate it. A fundamental aspect of communicating change is developing a strategic narrative. “Strategic narratives are a form of storytelling, and like all good stories, they need a compelling plot, characters a climax and a conclusion,” notes Forbes Contributor Chris Cancialosi.

By viewing your messaging as a critical component of the overall dialogue facilitating change, you can create more interesting, compelling and persuasive communication as your organization moves forward at every juncture of the change management process. In addition, deciding on when (including frequency) and how (with what mechanisms) change is best communicated, will also determine how effectively change will be received. That being said, be sure to consider how each communication will influence subsequent communication, as well as the overall goal.

3. Considering outcomes at every level.

An unfortunate misconception about change management is that is that its outcomes are relevant only for those operating at the most senior levels of an organization. False. Competently managing change means considering how it will affect individuals throughout an organization and at every level.

To be clear this also means taking a deep dive and performing a holistic examination of how each critical element of organizational transformation will impact culture, behavior, stakeholders, operations, competition, scalability and of course, the bottom line. The goal is to execute a cohesive and comprehensive approach to leading organizational change and overcome any institutional barriers to success associated with it.

It’s true—leading change can be difficult. But, you can do it successfully by amplifying these core tenets and taking your organization to the next level, especially because change is a non-negotiable component of its overall strategic growth.