Getting change right is difficult. Doing it wrong is much easier.
Here are eight steps that you can take to try to avoid making the mistakes of any number of change programmes.
These tips are in not in any particular order, they all seem to appear wherever change is happening.
- Keep up a sense of urgency. Make sure the managers who plan the change and the implementers who deliver have a real focus on the deadline.
- Continue to use a powerful leadership team throughout. Try not to distract them. This group is responsible, but also have authority. It needs to look and work like a team.
- Keep to the vision and roadmap for the change. Don’t deviate. Make sure this is expressed in simple teams that everyone can understand.
- Keep communicating the vision in every available channel until the message has been understood. You’ll know when this has happened because others who are not in the leadership team will spontaneously talk about the vision, using their own words.
- Try not to put too many barriers in the way of managers who are changing systems or structures. Remember to try to undermine resistance and encourage a little risk taking.
- Identify, create and find short term wins. Do make a noise about them and congratulate the team that delivered.
- Don’t forget to use the quick wins to produce more change. Success increases the credibility of further moves toward the eventual goal. (and don’t use this as an excuse to move the goalposts).
- Be persistent to embed the changes firmly into the business culture . When new behaviours are embedded they will not degrade/revert to the old ways. The lesson here is to ensure that the end of change is not declared too early. Continue to lead and manage until the changes are fixed.
These are eight places where change is typically derailed. Getting most of these right will put you way ahead of the competition.
About the Author: Adam Blackie is a professional Interim Manager who leads service delivery teams through their change programmes. He works with CEO’s and their Boards in the UK to change the way technology is used by staff and their customers.