Once you have performed change formulation and refinement, your real work begins – you need to plan carefully and start the process of making your change vision a reality. In this video, change manager Bob McGannon gives you tips for creating a change plan. Tips include treating the change plan as a project; and focusing on developing, maintaining and monitoring change support systems. In addition, the concept of creating a resistance plan is presented.
- Moving your home from one city to another is a tedious and sometimes difficult process. What made my own move easier was having things around me that were familiar. I was still working with the same company, my wife was with me, and I was able to join a running club where I met people with the same interests. This is important to keep in mind when creating a change plan. Be sure to highlight what will change but place equal weight on what won't change. I often think of calling this stage creating a stability plan because it's often the stable pieces that help your staff through a period of change, just like when I moved.
So, with a mindset that focuses on change and stability here's my advice for creating a change plan. First and foremost, treat this like a project. Create a schedule, risk records, and contingencies for when things don't go as expected. Second, focus on creating, maintaining, and monitoring support systems that can be put in place to assist your staff. This can involve HR, health benefit providers, access to managers who are driving the change, and informal information exchange groups where your team members can pose questions or share ideas.
Communicate that these support channels exist and when queries arise address them quickly. Nothing will kill a change initiative quicker than a nonresponsive support system. Ensure those support systems have the latest and best information on what's changing and, as I mentioned earlier, what is not changing. My third tip is to create a resistance plan. Simply, this is what you'll do when you meet resistance, and believe me, if you're making a significant change, you're very likely to meet resistance.
Keep in mind that not all resistance is the same. Understanding the source of the resistance is very important because your responses need to vary. Here are some of the most common sources of resistance and some high-level responses. First, a perceived power shift. If employees feel the change will diminish their power or influence in the organization it's likely they'll feel uncomfortable with what you're doing. It's important you understand how they perceive they're losing power and then determine how the value they provide will be preserved.
Don't make things up. If power is truly shifting and their importance in the organization is changing that must be addressed along with what will happen to these staff members. Second, a bad past experience can cause resistance. As a change manager, you might have survived a change in your business and benefited from it. Others however could bring the pain of bad outcomes to your change journey. Once again, seek to understand them.
Demonstrate how your change will be different. Please note that there could be lessons from these bad outcomes. A great way to relieve this resistance could be to make plan changes based on what you hear and even potentially involve your resistant staff member in implementing those changes. The last common source of resistance is self interest. Some people simply won't like the change you're making even if you can demonstrate the benefits. My recommendation is to continue to communicate the change status to them, ensure they know about available support systems, and let them be.
It's difficult to address specific self interest resistance, so try not to spend too much energy on it. Incorporate these recommendations and act on them successfully and you can maximize the stability that exists even as you're executing a change.
- 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