To manage change after implementation, you should be ready to consistently reinforce and adjust the change while ensuring your business outcomes are being met. In this video, Bob McGannon recommends activities to be performed in the final stage of a change initiative. You learn about establishing measurement processes and setting incremental targets, and evaluating the outcomes of the changes you made. In addition, focusing on people with new or significantly changed roles is reviewed.
- Organizational change should not be viewed as the movement of a chess piece from one square to another. Instead, I like to think of change being like an item attached to an elastic band. You have to move and then hold your piece in place, resisting the pull of the elastic until it stretches out and goes slack. Depending on the change, this can take days, months, and in the most extreme cases, years. To manage change after implementation, be ready to consistently reinforce and adjust the change, resisting that elastic band while ensuring your business outcomes are being met.
Here are my recommendations for high-level activities to perform in this final stage of a change initiative. First, establish measurement processes and set incremental targets. What gets measured gets managed is a very common and quite accurate saying. As this point in your change journey, it's vital to set up and track performance against the business outcomes you defined at the launch of your initiative. Keeping in mind that some of those outcomes may be subjective, you can set up opinion surveys to obtain objective data to measure those subjective outcomes.
As you go about this process, consider that your team, your management, and potentially your customers will take time to get used to the new changed world. As a result, developing performance capabilities to work within this new world may take some time. It's still important that you establish goals for performance improvement, but consider implementing them with a mindset toward gradual improvement. Jumping to your ultimate performance goal immediately could put undue pressure on your team, which may hurt your overall change objectives in the short and long-term.
My second tip is, change manager, don't be afraid to change. As you measure and evaluate the outcomes of the changes you've made, it's not uncommon to learn a bit and determine that adjustments to those changes bring further improvement. Do this carefully. Don't leap and change things too early unless you've found an obvious flaw that can be corrected with the support of your staff members. On the other hand, remain open to gradual adjustments that may be recommended by your staff, as long as those recommendations aren't driven by a desire to return to the way things were before your change.
My third tip is to focus on people with new or significantly changed roles. From both a business and a human perspective, people in these roles are likely to be pivotal to your process improvements. Remember, however, they will be undergoing the most significant personal change. Ensuring that time is taken to provide one-on-one focus in these staff members is a very good use of your time and will likely be appreciated. Now, to my last tip.
If your change has involved layoffs, it's tempting to get through that difficult process and take a deep breath, setting aside people concerns for a while. That's not wise. The staff members who were not laid off and are still working for you could be experiencing significant emotions. Guilt, lingering doubts about being next on the chopping block, or examining their value to your business are some of the thoughts that could be on their minds. Take time to be available to these people.
Keep the support mechanisms open that I discussed earlier, and be ready to listen at all times. So those are my recommendations for this final stage of your changed journey. Execute these tips in the final stage of your change journey well, and not only are you more likely to successfully resist that elastic band, you might just take a scissors to it and cut it completely.
- 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