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Take a systematic approach to change
Here’s what to consider to figure out the best approach for making adjustments ...
Mention the word “change,” and many managers cringe. You know how difficult selling your employees on a new way of doing things can be. But change doesn’t have to be negative. Here’s what to consider to figure out the best approach for making adjustments:
• Consider the scope. Will this program involve everyone in your organization, or is it a minor change affecting only a handful of employees? Take time to review the proposed changes and to contemplate vital issues, such as the number of employees involved, the difficulty of the adjustment, and the timeline for making the changes.
• Consider your culture. Some organizations are speedboats that can quickly shift course, while others are barges that make slow, methodical turns. Think about your organization’s personality and whether systems are in place that will make implementing the proposed changes easy or difficult. How can you take advantage of your organization’s positive attributes or offset its negative characteristics?
• Consider the risk. How high are the stakes? Go into the change process with a full understanding of what’s at risk for your organization, your employees, and your career as a manager. Be honest with your team about how these proposed changes could impact their work lives.
• Consider the personalities. Change affects different people in different ways, requiring managers to adjust their approach accordingly. Try to identify employees who may become change champions, those who may need gentle prodding, and those who may become obstacles. Devise strategies for dealing with a variety of possible reactions.
• Consider your tactics. Now that you’ve examined the change itself, the nature of your organization, and the personalities involved, you’re ready to come up with a plan for moving forward and to identify ways to counter possible resistance.
—Adapted from the OI Partners website