Our team is dedicated to helping organizations successfully implement change initiatives, whether it's a digital transformation, cultural shift, or other organizational change. We work closely with our clients to understand their unique needs and challenges, and develop customized strategies and approaches that are tailored to their specific goals and objectives.
Our services include change management coaching, consulting, and training to help organizations build the skills and competencies they need to effectively lead and manage change. We also offer communication support, including messaging development, stakeholder engagement, and training, to help ensure that change initiatives are effectively communicated and understood by all stakeholders.
Our team is committed to delivering results and helping our clients achieve success. If you're looking for expert guidance and support to navigate the complexities of change management, we're here to help. Contact us to learn more about how we can help your organization succeed.
Change can be difficult for many people, and it’s common for individuals to resist change in some form or another. Understanding the reasons behind resistance to change and having strategies in place to address it can help to increase the chances of success for your change initiatives.
Here are some strategies and techniques for overcoming resistance to change:
Communicate clearly and transparently. People often resist change when they don’t understand the rationale behind it or how it will affect them. Make sure to clearly communicate the purpose and benefits of the change, and be transparent about how it will be implemented.
Engage and involve stakeholders. Change is more likely to be successful when it is embraced and supported by key stakeholders. Engage with employees, customers, and other stakeholders early on in the process to ensure that their concerns and input are taken into consideration.
Address and overcome fears and concerns. People often resist change out of fear or concern for their job security, their status within the organization, or other issues. Address these concerns openly and honestly, and provide reassurance and support as needed.
Foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement. A culture of continuous learning and improvement can help to reduce resistance to change by creating an environment where change is seen as a natural and ongoing part of the work process. Encourage employees to embrace a learning mindset and provide them with the resources and support they need to continuously learn and improve.
Provide training and support. People may resist change if they don’t feel adequately prepared or supported to handle it. Consider providing training and support to help employees adapt to the change and build the skills and competencies they need to be successful.
Foster a sense of ownership and accountability. When people feel a sense of ownership and accountability for the change, they are more likely to embrace it and support its implementation. Encourage employees to take ownership of their work and their role in the organization, and hold them accountable for continuously improving their skills and performance.
By following these strategies and techniques, you can increase the chances of success and effectively navigate the complexities of overcoming resistance to change.
The rise of remote work has brought with it new challenges and opportunities when it comes to leading and managing change. Here are some considerations for managing change in a remote work environment:
Communicate effectively. Communication is vital to any change management situation, but it can be particularly challenging in a remote work setting. Employees are getting dozens, or even hundreds, of chats & emails a day. Make sure to use a variety of channels and methods to ensure that all employees have access to the necessary information and can effectively communicate with one another, and back to the project team implementing the change.
Foster a sense of connection and community. Remote work can sometimes lead to a sense of isolation and disconnection, which can make it harder to effectively manage change. Encourage employees to stay connected and build a sense of community through regular check-ins, team building activities, and other methods.
Use technology to your advantage. Technology can be a powerful tool for managing change in a remote work environment. Consider using virtual collaboration platforms, project management tools, and other technologies to help facilitate communication and collaboration. Knowledge management is increasingly valuable
Plan for potential challenges and understand your audience. Remote work can bring with it a range of potential challenges, such as time zone differences, cultural differences, and varying levels of access to technology. Plan for these challenges in advance and have contingency plans in place to ensure that the change process goes as smoothly as possible.
Foster a culture of continuous improvement. Encourage employees to continuously learn and adapt to new technologies and approaches, and provide them with the resources and support they need to do so. Reward behaviors that demonstrate a continuous improvement mindset.
Managing change in a remote work environment can be challenging, but by following these tips, you can increase the chances of success and effectively navigate the complexities of leading and managing change in this setting.
In today’s fast-paced and rapidly-changing business environment, it’s essential for organizations to be able to adapt and continuously improve in order to stay competitive. The need to change, transform, and be more agile has been and will continue to be a constant in 2023. Small and large organizations are facing people-centric change needed such as digitalization, creating an inclusive culture, and building flexible capabilities.
One way to build adaptability and a growth mindset is by fostering a culture of continuous improvement. Here are some tips and techniques for creating a culture of continuous improvement in your organization:
1. Set clear goals and objectives.
A key element of continuous improvement is having clear goals and objectives that everyone in the organization can work towards. Make sure that these goals are aligned with the organization’s overall strategy and vision, and that they are communicated effectively to all employees.
2. Encourage a learning mindset.
A culture of continuous improvement is built on the belief that learning and growth are ongoing processes. Encourage employees to embrace a learning mindset, and provide them with the resources and support they need to continuously learn and improve.
3. Foster a sense of ownership and accountability
Continuous improvement requires a sense of ownership and accountability at all levels of the organization. Encourage employees to take ownership of their work and their role in the organization, and hold them accountable for continuously improving their skills and performance.
4. Encourage collaboration and innovation.
Continuous improvement often requires new ideas and approaches, and these often come from collaboration and the exchange of ideas. Encourage employees to work together and share their ideas, and create an environment that is conducive to innovation.
5. Use data and metrics to track progress.
Use data and metrics to track progress. Continuous improvement requires the ability to track progress and measure the effectiveness of different approaches. Use data and metrics to track progress and identify areas for improvement, and use this information to make informed decisions about how to move forward. Consider how to make data, progress and discussions visible to employees.
6. Recognize and reward progress and achievement.
Recognizing and rewarding progress and achievement can help to reinforce a culture of continuous improvement. Consider using various methods of recognition and reward, such as public recognition, bonuses, and promotions, to encourage employees to continuously improve.
By following these tips and techniques, you can create a culture of continuous improvement in your organization that will help you adapt and thrive in an ever-changing business environment.
Change management can be a complex and challenging process, and it’s easy to fall into common pitfalls that can derail even the most well-intentioned initiatives. Here are the top 10 change management mistakes to avoid:
1. Lack of clarity around the change and its purpose.
Without a clear understanding of what the change entails and why it is necessary, it can be difficult to gain support and buy-in from key stakeholders. From the beginning, it’s useful to collect information from your project team about the impact of this change, the timeline, the alignment with business strategy, the intended outcomes and benefits of the change. Having an early understanding of this will help influence a thorough and comprehensive communication plan and training approach.
2. Inadequate or ineffective communication.
Change can be unsettling for employees, so it’s important to effectively communicate the rationale for the change and how it will affect them. Lack of communication or a failure to be transparent can lead to confusion, mistrust, and resistance. Consider multiple communication channels, identify your audiences, and never rely on one form of communication.
3. Insufficient engagement and involvement of stakeholders.
Change is more likely to be successful when it is embraced and supported by key stakeholders. Failing to engage employees, customers, and other stakeholders in the change process can lead to resistance and undermine the initiative.
4. Lack of a clear plan and preparation.
A well-thought-out plan is essential for ensuring that the change is implemented smoothly and effectively. Failing to plan and prepare can lead to delays, unexpected challenges, and ultimately, failure.
5. Insufficient resources and support.
Change requires resources and support to be successful. Failing to allocate the necessary resources and support can make it difficult to implement the change effectively. Consider not only the time required of the project team (for example, project manager, sponsor, SMEs, communications and change support), but also the time required of managers and employees to engage with, learn and adopt the change.
6. Inadequate leadership
Change requires strong leadership to guide and motivate employees through the process. Lack of leadership or poor leadership can undermine the change initiative. Ensure managers are involved early in the change, expectations of their behaviors or support is clear, and two-way communication is encouraged. Managers are closest to their people and can help escalate resistance, concerns, questions, and the need for more support.
7. Insufficient training and support.
Employees may need training and support to adapt to the change. Failing to provide adequate training and support can lead to resistance and a lack of buy-in. Consider additional ways to offer informal or formal opportunities (examples: teambuilding, project office hours) to discuss the change and provide two-way communication opportunities. Ensure training milestones are aligned with project milestones, and changes are not expected of employees before adequate training has been offered.
8. Lack of ongoing communication and support.
Change is a journey, not a one-time event. Failing to provide ongoing communication and support can lead to a lack of progress and ultimately, failure. The speed at which employees will adapt to change varies widely. Also, the needs of employees may be different when it comes to rigor of communication or availability of support.
9. Inability to adapt and be flexible.
Change is a dynamic process, and it’s important to be prepared to adapt and be flexible as needed. Failing to adapt and be flexible can lead to setbacks and ultimately, failure. A change management strategy and communications plan should be routinely assessed and changed to meet the needs of the stakeholders.
10. Lack of monitoring and evaluation.
It’s important to monitor the progress and effectiveness of the change to ensure that it is on track and making the desired impact. Failing to monitor and evaluate the change can lead to missed opportunities and ultimately, failure. Determine if there are quantitative or qualitative metrics that could be tracked and/or communicated regularly to stakeholders.
11. Lack of timely decision making.
Ideally when an employee raises a concern or asks a question, an answer is promptly shared. However the complexity of project and change efforts can make this difficult, especially when it comes to unknown or potential impacts to an employee. Try to facilitate fast decision making and communication of relevant decisions. Consider your information management approach to make project details and common questions readily available, for example creating an FAQ, website, or newsletter.
12. Going too fast.
Change can be an emotional journey. Each employee may have a different reaction and response to a change. Plan for resistance and the need for discussion opportunities and ensure your project timeline incorporates your communication, engagement and training tactics.
13. Going too slow.
While going fast may be worse, slow movement can be tricky too! When a project timeline is years-long and there is a long time between hearing about a change and actually seeing the change take place, ensure your communication plan is regular and predictable to keep employees informed. Remember, the absence of information often leads to speculation and even incorrect assumptions. I often go as far as to tell employees when and how they will hear their next update.
14. Ignoring the root cause of employee resistance.
Don’t make assumptions about where employee resistance is coming from. Understanding the resistance will help determine the best way to mitigate it. Wherever possible, try to understand the feedback quantitatively to influence the rigor of your change management efforts. This can help ensure that a few loud voices on one topic does not overshadow a more impactful topic.
15. Inconsistent leadership messages.
Leaders in your organization have important responsibilities when it comes to managing change. They are required to communicate about it often, whether that be formally introducing it in a staff meeting, or chatting about the change in 1:1 or small group settings. It can be confusing and frustrating if messages are not consistent between managers. Include managers in your communication, training and engagement planning, often allowing them a few days, weeks, or months more with the information so they are in a better position to adapt to and support the change.
16. Not planning for resistance.
Resistance to change is natural and should be planned for! Give adequate time and resources to support your employees through the change. Frustrated and confused employees are less productive and investing in a thorough change management approach can save a lot of wasted time on swirl and confusion.
17. Oversimplifying or downplaying the change.
Understand the impact of the change on each employee, if possible. This is often assessed by group of employees in larger change efforts. Don’t overlook or make assumptions about “small” impacts because employees can surprise you with what is most important or top-of-mind for them.
18. Not understanding the needs and concerns of those impacted by the change.
Always start with understanding your stakeholders. The impact of change on them, their needs, concerns and benefits are all important things to understand, plan for, and include in training and communication planning.
19. Not activating an informal or formal change network.
Engage and support others that can be your change agents! Prepare them with information, talking points, early awareness and see your change efforts amplify. Don’t underestimate the power of informal chats over coffee, lunch, or while walking to your next meeting. Ensure these change agents have the correct information and are not spreading misinformation.
20. Not allowing feedback and iteration.
Demonstrating the effort to listen and potentially make changes based off employee inputs can be a powerful way to gain trust with employees. It also can be invaluable to delivering the best product or improvement that will benefit the organization.
21. Inconsistent or disengaged managers.
Managers need to be engaged, receptive to feedback, and advocates for a change. The manager role naturally becomes one of role model, and employees will be quick to mimic disinterest or ignoring of a change if a manager does first. Keep your manager population informed, included, and accountable through the duration of the change.
By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can increase the chances of success and effectively navigate the complexities of change management.
Change is inevitable. The rate and frequency of change initiatives only seem to be increasing as organizations face new challenges such as digitalization, multi-generational workforces and an increasing focus on employee well-being. Managing change can be a complex and challenging process, but with the right strategies and approach, it is possible to successfully navigate even the most significant changes.
5 tips for leading and managing change in your organization:
Clearly define the change and its purpose.
Before embarking on a change initiative, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of what the change entails and why it is necessary. be sure to define the scope of the change, what it will achieve, and how it will benefit the organization. Here is a list to get you started.
Change can be stressful and unsettling for employees, so it’s important to effectively communicate the rationale for the change and how it will affect them. Use a variety of channels to ensure that everyone has access to the necessary information, and be transparent and open in your communication. Follow our communication template to capture the complexity in audience groups, key messages, timeline and communication tactics.
Monitor and evaluate the change.
Once the change has been implemented, it’s important to monitor its progress and effectiveness. Use metrics to track the impact of the change. Ensure ownership, knowledge management & training sustainment is accounted for. Follow our sustainment plan for more details.
Managing change can be a complex and challenging process, but by following these steps, you can increase the chances of success and ensure that your organization is well-positioned to adapt and thrive in an ever-changing business environment.