Have you ever noticed that once a change is initiated in your organization or in your personal life, a series of subsequent changes occur? The ripple effect of change is a normal phenomenon and one that many people find uncomfortable. Why? Because these changes may happen outside of your control.
What is a ripple effect?
Wikipedia describes it as “a situation where, like the ever expanding ripples across water when an object is dropped into it, an effect from an initial state can be followed outwards incrementally.”
I have been working with a client on an organizational change project which has rippled through so many areas of the organization. The most recent was repositioning a division to be more responsive to their clients. The change was initiated by the CEO when he recognized a lack of relevancy between the division’s deliverables and the wants/needs of their clients.
This desire to change prompted the director to resign. The change process continued and eventually two staff members also resigned. It’s sad when you lose great people but the flip side offers you, and your organization, a great opportunity to embrace the changes and continue the process.
Here are five tips you should consider when leading changes
1. Share your plan. Communication throughout the change process is critical to success. It is important to let all team members, and those who will be impacted by the change, what is happening. Sharing the big picture and how they will fit into this new environment will settle fears, engage your team, and provide valuable feedback.
2. Prepare for the Changes – Once you know what you want to achieve, taking time to document the action steps that you want to take and the milestones you want to reach will pay dividends. Not only will a written plan increase the chances you will actually achieve these outcomes, it also allows you to identify gaps and opportunities.
3. Act decisively. As a leader, it is important to be confident and decisive to keep team members engaged. Expect others to push back, question or refer to “the old way”. When you listen to concerns/comments/objections, and take action with confidence, people are more likely to accept the change process and follow along. I often hear “You seem to know what you’re doing so I keep going.”
4. Recognize the challenges others face and be willing to review and rejig the plan. In every well created plan an unforeseen glitch will occur or new information will come to light. Nothing is perfect. As a change leader, you want to be open to options, feedback and other insights. This new information may cause you to change your plan or adjust an outcome or methodology. Review is vital and more often than not will only improve the process of change.
5. Keep the momentum. Change happens continually and maintaining momentum is key to avoiding the panic. Systems that you have put in place will create a great foundation to leverage time and effort. Keep the above four steps in place and you’ll be positioned to navigate the changes you, and your business, face.
Our done with you, done for you approach to coaching and consulting offers you a way to navigate the changes you’re facing. Let us assist you. Book an Ignite Call (using contact button below) and we can explore your next steps.
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