We know that an organization has to be agile and ready for constant change in order to survive. But who decides which changes come, when they come and who is involved? Who follows the implementation process and at the same time has an overview of all current changes in the company?
Managers in particular should deal with these 4 questions in order to successfully implement changes:
1. How does the change landscape of your company look like?
Each of us has his or her emotional battery, which contains the emotional energy that we need to deal with whatever we’re facing in life. If it is depleted, we seek shelter until we refill our resources. Same goes for changes we are facing at our workplace. Each change, no matter how big or how little, requires mental, physical and emotional efforts. Each change demands new skills, behaviors, knowledge and even sometimes new ways in thinking. The bigger the change, the higher our effort has to be but even little changes can drain our emotional battery over time.
Often, 50% of change initiatives in a company depend on the same people and resources, blocking any progress in change. The other half is interdepended, meaning you can’t even move forward if you wanted because you have to wait for others.
2. What makes you as a leader so important in leading change?
Leaders decide what’s going to happen next, this especially includes the changes for their employees. That is why it is very important, that they lead through all these changes. However, leading change is more than a “Just do it” approach. A change that feels enforced, not welcome and which I don’t understand is a save way for draining my change battery and even resulting in a change burnout.
Key to successfully leading change is an open sharing of information, offering the opportunity to influence the change, provide adequate training, and listen as well as resolve issues related to the change.
3. What is your corporate approach to managing change?
The amount of changes we are facing is accelerating. How can we become change ready and build a greater change capacity to face all this? In general, our change readiness depends on the believe
- the change to be necessary
- that it will have a positive effect
- that the organization has the capacity to implement the change¹
In many cases, a leader is heavily involved in the beginning of a change initiative, than they entrust the employees to implement the change and they move on to the next topic. To successfully leading change it is important to remember, that, even so a leader might have moved on, their employees are still working on realizing the change.
It is very difficult to decide on what to take on next when everything ahead looks promising. But every one of us is not just a passive recipient of change. We care about the impact on ourselves and our work goals. A clear change agenda based on the organizations strategy and selecting healthy changes paves the way for change-ready employees and leading continuous change.
4. Where is your company now? Are changes in your company prioritized?
You have no answers to these questions? There's nothing wrong with that. It is important that someone ask these questions so that we can work together on the solution.
- Think smaller: Initiate a small amount of strategic, well-planned, well-supported changes. Narrow down the list on your change agenda even more.
- Think lower: You are working on the tightest resources imaginable: human and financial resources, leadership support and tolerance for disruption. As soon as one of these assets is used up, change stops.
- Think faster: Unforeseen events make up half of life. Leave perfectionism behind and use rapid prototyping to learn and adapt quickly and cost-effective to achieve goals sooner.
- Think smarter: Position learning on the same level as doing. To get a flexible mindset let’s value learning as much as we value our work, especially the learning to improve change.
With these 4 points, I hope to have provided you with the first helpful indications for your change initiatives.
Do you have any questions or would you like to know more about this topic? Then I look forward to get in touch with you.
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¹Armenakis, Harris, & Mossholder 2013, Rafferty, Jimmieson & Armenakis 2012