Earlier this week, I talked with a group of leaders about their role in leading change.
They felt frustrated about a specific organizational change that was moving forward very slowly.
They also felt frustrated that there was so much resistance to the change.
I had to remind them that change is hard, it is expensive, and 70% of change initiatives fail.
Plus, most leaders have never been taught to manage change.
Lately, I’ve been seeing too many leaders “wing it” on the job.
Well, managing change is yet another area of your leadership responsibilities that requires thought and planning. “Winging it” will most definitely lead to the failure of any change initiative.
I shared with this group of leaders a process to lead change strategically.
Here are the three critical strategies that you need to implement to manage change successfully:
Strategy One: Develop a Communication Plan.
Take the time to plan a comprehensive, high-touch communication strategy. Sending out one email to announce the change is NOT a communication plan. People need to hear something 6-7 times before truly understanding and implementing the change properly. Communicate the change in many different ways over time, such as in a town hall, team meetings, one-on-ones, department meetings, etc.
Strategy Two: Get buy-in from key stakeholders.
Firstly, ensure that your CEO, or most senior stakeholder, is on-board with any change your team will facilitate. Next, present your change plan to your peers. If your peer group does not buy-in, your initiative will likely be a failure. Learn how to articulate the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) to your peers so that they understand the positive impact of the change for their teams.
Strategy Three: Create an implementation team.
Bring a diverse group of people together from all levels of the organization to plan and execute the change. To ensure buy-in and commitment, make sure you involve this team early on in the change process.
Leading change takes time and requires a lot of planning. Before managing any change initiative, take the time to implement the suggested strategies listed above.
I hope this will help you beat the statistics and improve the odds of your change initiative’s success.
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