Change is an essential part of life and our ability to see it coming and then to navigate it with a positive mindset is a powerful competency that creates profitable outcomes for our business. If we understand how change will impact us, we can plan for 2024 and beyond and make provision for organizational growth and health.
No matter how insightful we are, today’s strategic foresight and plans will not ensure tomorrow’s success unless we become very adept at actively engaging our people and equipping them with a new set of expectations. To do so we must follow a set of communication principles that help us cascade the “Why it Matters” to every level. Understanding this serves as a guiding light, offering a clear rationale and purpose behind the proposed changes, and keeps the team focused on the outcomes we seek, not just the actions we take.
This cascading process is crucial for mobilizing our team to navigate change. When our team fully comprehends the importance of a new initiative or change, they are more likely to become actively engaged and committed to its successful implementation. We’ve outlined below how to embrace the progressive principles of communication that equip us for profitable change management. Consistent application of this stepped approach can more quickly establish clarity around new expectations and make the widespread adoption of change and delivery of desired outcomes more natural.
Four Steps on the Path to Change Management
The initial step in the change process involves cultivating a comprehensive awareness of the driving forces behind the proposed changes. It is essential to communicate the challenges faced by the organization, the actions that we will take and the potential outcomes that lie ahead. Awareness is not as simple as just sending out the message, it requires multiple forms of communication to include in person dialogue, group discussion and at times one-on-one validation that the messages have been sent and received.
The next step is to avoid the assumption that being aware also means the new expectations are understood. We must intentionally work to help each of our team members truly understand why the new approach is needed to move us forward. Fostering a deep understanding among our workforce is critical. Encourage transparent dialogue, provide a platform for employees to express their concerns and seek clarifications. The more we illuminate the details and positive impacts of the new expectations the more motivated our people will become.
We all recognize that resistance often accompanies change, which is why it is so essential to nurture a culture of acceptance within our organization. Being very diligent in the awareness and understanding steps helps overcome the apprehensions and uncertainties that may arise with change and with these two steps in place our people can now make the decision to embrace the new expectations. This move to acceptance is a powerful switch that taps into discretionary energy that every team member has at their disposal. Acceptance means our team is becoming self-driven to meet the new expectations as opposed to just going through the motions of compliance.
Acceptance may arrive at different points for each individual but the overall movement to more and more widespread acceptance creates momentum for the requisite changes. With consistent focus we begin to actively engage our team in the change process and as we stay the course and encourage open feedback we foster a sense of shared responsibility, emphasizing how everyone contributes to the success of the overall initiative.
We can do very well as more members accept the new expectations and experience good success. However, we also need a few champions for the cause; those who have moved beyond just acceptance and are fully committed to the changes we are making. These not only follow the expectations for themselves, but they have also become passionate advocates and actively influence others to follow the new expectations as well. This final step on the path to change management serves to inspire full team engagement and to highlight the shared vision and collective objectives that the changes aim to achieve.
Effective Leadership Drives Profitable Change
Change is going to happen, and it has the transformative potential as a catalyst for innovation and growth within our organizations. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us as leaders to chart the course to navigate change and to equip our team with a clarity of expectations, purpose and “Why It Matters.” And as we acknowledge and celebrate milestones along the way, we reinforce the idea that their commitment is instrumental in driving profitable outcomes that matter both for themselves and for the organization.
Where to Get Help
Achilles Group equips your leaders with the essential tools and strategies needed to effectively approach, articulate, and execute change within your business. Through our tailored approach and comprehensive training, we work with your leadership to emphasize the significance of strategic planning and proactive communication techniques to drive the change management process.
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Wishing you a prosperous journey of transformation and advancement.