Substantial change can be an ordeal. In this video, Bob McGannon takes you through the steps for change formulation and refinement. These steps include forming a compelling reason for a change, creating a distinct picture, identifying your change agents, assessing your capacity for change and working backwards from your "change picture" to what steps you need to take to make change a reality.
- My family and I recently moved to another city, and although there was some excitement around getting settled, and exploring a new area, it mostly was annoying. The time it took to box things up and ensure they were packed properly was significant. Once everything arrived, we had to unpack, find places for everything, which was followed by moving things around, and then we had to decide what new items we needed. You probably get the idea. It was not a trivial exercise. In short, it was a substantial change, and a substantial change can be an ordeal.
So first, it's important that you form the compelling reasons for change. Otherwise, you'll get few people to engage with you. I certainly wouldn't have endured the stress of moving unless there was a compelling reason to do so. It's the same with organizational change initiatives. First and foremost, you have to ensure your organization understands the rationale for a change. Second, it's important to create a distinct picture of what things will look like when the change is complete.
In my move, I had to understand where in the city we wanted to live. I needed a picture of where I'd be working, where the services we wanted would be, what surroundings we wanted. Did we want the hustle bustle and convenience of the heart of the city, or did we want a spot in the country that was more serene? You need to do the same with your change initiative. After you create the compelling reason to make a change, create a picture or refinement of the potential outcomes, and then, select the proper approach.
Next, you need to identify your change agents and capacity for change. Your ability to manage organizational change is restricted by the capable and willing resources you have available. Expecting your staff to take on a major change effort while holding them accountable to perform their normal day job is not fair, and it could be a recipe for failure. As part of change formulation, identify your change agents and how you'll backfill them. Also, you'll want to assess your capacity for change.
Evaluate other projects are going on in your organization. For example, let's say you work in a government agency. If you attempt to deploy a major change initiative while your group is trying to support a new set of laws, you're likely to cause major issues. Fourth, work backwards from your change picture, and determine what steps you need to take. This is sometimes called Outcomes Mapping. For example, once I decided I had to move, and knew where we wanted to live in the new city, I had to think through the steps to get there.
Selling my current house, buying a new one, arranging for a moving company, all had to be thought out. The sequence of these steps is not always obvious, and can come with trade-offs. For instance, I could have found the perfect new house before I sold my current one. Was I willing to take out an extra bridge loan to secure buying the new place before selling my current one? Did I want to move to a rental home to investigate the new city more thoroughly? In an organization, deriving the series of steps so your management team understands and can support your approach is critical for buying it.
Once you have performed these change formulation and refinement steps, your real work begins. You need to plan carefully and start the process of making your change vision a reality.
- Understanding the levels of change management
- Working through the five phases of change management
- Creating a change plan
- Communicating change
- Implementing change
- Managing risk
- Reinforcing change
- Evaluating the change
- Guiding individuals through change