Change Management

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Change management in your organization can translate into whether your company weathers a storm or sinks to the depths of the ocean.

Here are 8 tips on how organizations and their leaders can effectively manage change:

  1. Effectively managing change is not possible in isolation of risk and crisis management. Risk, crisis and change management have clear interdependencies. Thus, in order to effectively manage change, risk and crisis must continually be assessed, prioritized and planned for.
  2. Leadership plays a central role in positively shaping the outcome of change. Leaders can create a positive outcome by believing in the change they are instituting, by role modelling expected behaviours and by communicating effectively. Effective leadership communication involves anticipating and addressing emotional responses to change in a simple and transparent way.
  3. Next, change must be approached in a holistic way by considering all stages of change (pre, during and post). Change needs to be prepared for and strategically approached at every phase.
  4. A tailored communication strategy is important in engaging with key stakeholders. Identifying key stakeholders, listening to and understanding their needs will be imperative in gaining their buy in order to drive the change effort ahead.
  5. Organizations need to develop their internal expertise on change management and ensure that their employees have a more global mindset to meet the challenge of change. Developing business intelligence, internal change experts and developing key skills in leaders and the workforce are advised. These skills include competencies around change, risk and crisis management which allow organizations to be proactive rather than reactive in tackling change.
  6. Global factors need to be considered in any change strategy even if your company is nationally based. Globalization has increased interdependency between countries as is evidenced by the global economic recession. Thus, global factors must be considered in effectively managing change, risk and crisis management.
  7. For global change efforts, leaders will need to consider cultural differences along with the country’s political, legal, social and economic factors. Thoughtfully considering these elements in designing and implementing the change and communication strategy will make the change effort more seamless.
  8. Retaining top talent is highly important in sustaining operations and in making change happen both now and in the future.  Assigning top talent to champion change projects and developing top talent once change has been successful is best practice. Allocating top talent to lead new projects which resulted from the change they successfully led serves as a great retention tool. In addition, it grooms future leadership, assists in succession planning and shapes the culture of the company for change.
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