It is important to remember that change is only constant. Without change, the world will come to a standstill. Knowing the right ways of implementing change so that the goals can be accomplished is one of the most critical factors to ensure success in life.
Change is the phenomenon that we witness daily. Everywhere we look, change occurs.
Whether it’s the time of the day, which is continuously changing, or the weather, without modification, we cannot move forward. Without change, there can be no growth or development or evolution. Without change, there cannot be any progress.
The changes in personal life can be a change in the living space, relationship status or lifestyle. The changes in professional life are predominantly governed by the need for new means of success.
A new project or improvement in technology can be termed as a change in a business.
This same logic applies to organizations as well. The overall productivity and success of an organization are dependent on the introduction and implementation of change.
Organizational change is a process that involves the organization implementing change in one or many dimensions. These include culture, structure, technology, strategy, methods of operating. Changes in these areas, in turn, affect the organization as a whole.
Table of Contents
Why Implementing Change is Important?
A business runs for-profit and earnings. Any system which threatens these factors needs to be changed.
With the same thoughts, changes are brought about in a way that they do not bring the company’s revenue and its reputation down but only push it upwards. Once it is decided that changes are to be made in a professional structure, the biggest challenge is its smooth implementation.
Implementation can be termed as realizing a change in the system.
Applying the changes to achieve the desired goal is the success of the implementation part in changes. It is very natural and human to feel intimidated by differences.
The employees and the administration fear failures, and that is the reason why changes are resisted at some points.
11 Steps of Implementing Change
The process of organizational change involves the implementation of knowledge from various fields of discipline.
These fields of discipline include management, economics, sociology, psychology as well as political science.
Successfully combining the particular expertise gathered from the fields above, coupled with effective leadership, is what predicts successful and effective change in the organization. The steps involved in implementing change have been stated as follows:
1) Creating a Sense of Urgency
Implementing change is needed when the previous method used is having some vices, which may affect the profits and reputation of the company.
The need for change, if supplemented by urgency, can create wonders for the business. The requirement can be in the form of potential threats for the old method and the feedback given by the customers and users of the previous method. This urgency can work as the much-needed initial motivation for the employees to accept the changes.
Without a demand for a commodity, there cannot be a supply of the same is what the law of economics dictates. Without need, there is no motivation for the fulfillment of that need is what psychology says. Applying this principle in organizational change implementation is key to success.
When most employees in an organization feel that there is a strong need for change in the organization, the difference can be effectively put into action. Creating that sense of urgency for change is the first step involved in this multidisciplinary phenomenon.
To initiate the process of change, the leader has to start building this feeling about desiring change amongst the employees. When the employees feel the need for change, it will, in turn, motivate the employer to get things going. This can be done in various ways. Individuals at the senior management level have a pivotal role to play in terms of spreading a sense of urgency.
They can identify crucial opportunities and can elaborate on how such opportunities can be exploited. They can point the potential threats as well as explain the consequences of such risks, if not dealt effectively. Without proper execution of the first step, the rest of the process can crumble.
2) Formation of a Coalition
Merely initiating the process of organizational change and just about managing it is never enough. Since an organization includes a lot of individuals working in it, it is essential to ensure that every employee in the organization is actively taking part in the process of the change and contributing to its actualization.
For that to happen, you must identify individuals from the different hierarchical levels of the organization who would make great leaders motivate everyone in this process. These leaders do not necessarily have to be only from the senior management level.
They can be employees from any level of the organizational hierarchy. This coalition can effectively lead the process of change. A wholesome alliance is one where the members represent the different departments and different levels of seniority in the organization. This is how the need for change and implementation of change can happen most effectively.
A team is needed to execute the plan drafted for implementing the changes. This team should be driven towards making the changes smoothly. They should be able to handle the fears and inhibitions of other employees.
This team has to work on balancing the old changes with the newer ones. It is a prerequisite that they know the nitty-gritty of the plan and have the systems which will make them possible in place. They should have a powerful hold over the team and should make the team embrace the changes with all their hearts.
3) Creating a Vision
As the process of organizational change involves changes in many aspects of the organization, it is crucial to connect all these areas.
When inspiration hits, you come up with many potential changes, and its consequences separately. However, what matters the most, in terms of making people understand the need for change and the nature of the move itself, is presenting these various changes in a comprehensive related manner.
A vision regarding the change and its consequences is crucial in the process of organizational change. This vision consists of how well you have connected the changes in the different aspects of the organization and how that will positively affect the organization in the future.
Your vision statement must be clearly explained and, in turn, understood by your team. Keeping the values central to the change process is critical. All team members should be able to tell the vision with ease and in a concise manner. Along with the vision statement, a mission statement, which explains the necessary strategy concisely to actualize your vision, is also vital.
4) Communication is the key
Once you have established your vision about the change as well as your mission, which dictates how you will accomplish your vision, communication is vital.
Being able to communicate your vision statement as well as the mission statement to your team is crucial. Ensuring that your team understands what you want is very important.
This is because they, in turn, will communicate their understanding of your vision to the entire organization. Communication discrepancies and filtering of information is the last thing you want during the process of change.
Speaking about the vision as often as possible is advisable, as well as sorting everyday problems related to the organization concerning the vision is sufficient. Leading by example is fundamental.
The rest of the employees other than the team planning the changes might be unaware of those changes. Hence, that makes it extremely pivotal to communicate the need, process, and outcomes of these changes properly to all the concerned stack-holders of the business.
They should be convinced that there are profits in making the changes. Their fears should be put to rest through logical reasoning. The opportunities that will open after these changes and their returns should be thrown light on. This communication will make the stake-holders agree to these changes.
5) Get Rid Of Roadblocks
An excellent way to understand the progress of your organizational change is when you can finally start identifying any barriers concerning the same.
When you start noticing any sort of resistance from employees or other aspects of the organization such as structural or functional, that’s when you know you’ve crossed the first four steps of organizational change.
This is when you start reviewing the structure of your organization, the operational front, and the technological front and see if they align with your vision.
Interact with employees who resist the change and try to make them understand your vision. Review the job descriptions as well as specifications for the same reason. It is also important to reinforce those who are actively involved in the change process.
6) Short-Term Rewards Are Important
The period for the full implementation and actualization of the vision can be quite long. Therefore it is essential to breakdown your vision and the benefits of the concept into short term goals and rewards.
This creates a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment amongst the employees. When these short term goals are achieved, it is essential to reward or celebrate these accomplishments.
This keeps the morale of the employees elevated and motivates them to push through the process of organizational change. These quick wins also help the employees to understand the effectiveness and benefits of the change implemented in the organization.
The goals to be achieved by any team in business are primarily of two types, viz. short-term and long-term. The long-term goals are larger and more tedious.
Hence, they are split into several short-term goals which are comparatively easier to achieve. This strategy can also be used in implementing changes. The teams which are instrumental in these changes should be assigned short-term goals to fragment the success of reforms in comfortably achievable stages.
7) Growth Is Continuous
In the process of achieving the short term goals and celebrating the wins, there are some essential things to be taken into consideration.
It is critical to remember that there is always room for improvement. Thus, even when the victories are being celebrated, the employees must understand the strengths and areas that need improvement.
The process of change is continuous. Being all consumed in celebrating the accomplishment of the goals can cause the change process to come to an unexpected standstill. That, in turn, will render your mission useless.
8) Anchor the Change
The changes that have rendered good results and benefits to the organization must be incorporated into the overall culture of the organization.
This is done to ensure the stability of the change. The change in the overall culture has to be carefully implemented and monitored by the team appointed. The changes introduced during the process of change must be a part of the day-to-day functioning and activities of the organization.
When the change is noticed in each aspect of the organization, that’s when you know that it’s here to stay. It is also vital to ensure that your team stands loyal to the change and completely supports it in the long run. Without the team, the stability of the change that has been introduced is questionable.
Once the implementation of the change is successful, it can be used freely without any fear. They can be anchored in your daily work culture. The leader should speak about it, again and again, to motivate the team members to aim for more significant changes fearlessly in the future.
9) Plan the change properly
The changes are needed so direly only when the old ways of work begin to fail or give lesser outputs than expected. Hence, the changes are to be planned in a way that they make up for the losses incurred by the old and less efficient methods.
The threats of the old methods should be eliminated, and the changes should be incorporated meticulously. There are various types of changes based on their nature, their sustenance, their scope and the resources required to implement them.
These factors should be considered while planning. Also, the plans should be chalked out according to the need and urgency of the changes.
10) Review and report the consequences of changes
The changes which are implemented need minute observations and reviewing.
The market response and user feedback should be evaluated against the backdrop of the resources used and returns expected from the changes.
All the teams should present a formal report to the team dedicated to implementing these changes. This report can be used as a guideline to better the changes and make them more profitable. These reforms done should be again evaluated and reviewed.
It is a chain that will keep the business relevant and beneficial for the company as well as the clients.
11) Work on risks involved in implementing change
Any change to be done to the system or the working style comes with a package of benefits and risks.
The risks are as essential to be analyzed as the benefits as they can lead to severe backlashes and a total failure of the system. Hence, they should be studied thoroughly, and the methods to avoid them should be designed.
This plan devised needs to overcome these obstacles and minimize the impacts of the risks. A backup plan should be in place to be executed if the original idea does not work as expected.
Final Thoughts about Implementing Changes!
To implement changes in the organization, it is essential to have a good understanding of the steps involved in implementing change effectively in an organization. Read and learn!
Changes are inevitable. To make them profitable in any business, one should know the proper steps and tips to implement them in the right manner.
This will ensure their success and make. It will also help in making the employees believe that changes can be profitable, achievable and exciting to implement.
This will pave the way towards creating wonders and setting higher benchmarks.
Liked this post? Check out the complete series on Management