How to successfully lead during organisational change

Change is happening. Fast. No matter your industry, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is affecting the ways in which people interact, work and live. Businesses, in particular, are undergoing large-scale organisational changes across their operations that affect both their employees and consumers.  USB-ED's Master Class in Scenario Planning ensures that leaders in change are well-equip for change within the organizational structure.

How do you manage change and lead?

  • Define your plan of action in order to transition smoothly
  • Encourage early adopters to ensure positive uptake
  • Engage with your team to ensure communication remains open
  • Understand resistance in order to address concerns
  • Be honest and upfront about the change management process
  • Keep everyone adopted

The reality is that change is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be all bad.

What is change management?

Change management firm Prosci defines change management as “the process, tools and techniques to manage the people side of change to achieve a required business outcome”.

Here’s how you can guide your team, department or business through organisational change management – whether you’re introducing new systems, launching a fresh process, or restructuring management completely.

1. Define your plan of action

Organisational change can disrupt productivity, culture and innovation – and a change management project without a process can go nowhere. Before informing your employees of any changes to come, Fast Company points out that it’s key to meet with key executives to outline what change looks like for the company, where the change management process will lead (i.e. your end goal), and the steps for getting there.

2. Encourage early adopters

One of the easiest ways to influence a positive uptake of any organisational change is by getting buy-in. Find advocates within departments and teams who demonstrate strong leadership skills and receive respect from their colleagues then provide them with the necessary training or mentorship to take on more responsibility. These early adopters will help spread your message and get other people on board too.

3. Engage your team

Even the smallest of changes involves various moving parts – from employee roles and responsibilities to the office furniture! While you undertake a change management process, keep the lines of communication with your team open to ensure everyone remains on the same page, including having one-on-one sessions. Bloomfire also suggests being transparent about any hiccups or victories that you may encounter along the way.

4. Understand resistance – and reactions

No action is without its reaction – and the same can be said for change. Even if the organisational change at your company is positive, expect resistance or negative reactions from a few employees. Many of them will question how the change will affect their roles, salary or even the team culture; rather than punishing them for their emotions, take the time to address their concerns, recommends talent management consultancy Clear Review.

5. Be honest

Instead of hiding the truth of an organisational change that could have negative effects, be upfront about the change management process that’s about to take place. Inc. advises that you provide your team with the facts and circumstances, acknowledge that the situation may not be the best and outline the company’s growth strategy and plans to avoid a similar situation in the future.

6. Keep everyone updated

While executives and senior management are crucial to any organisational change management strategy, it’s important that you don’t overlook other stakeholders such as middle management, team leaders or even employees without titles but that have influence amongst their peers, says Salary.com.

As a leader, it’s important for you to be able to address critical business challenges and implement scenario planning processes. Upskill the leaders in your workforce with the necessary skills to implement organisational change in the business environment by enrolling in our Master Class in Scenario Planning.

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