[This article is based on excerpts from the special report “Overcoming Resistance to Change” by Dr. Mike Beitler.]
Senior management often creates a plan for implementing an organizational change while completely ignoring the following elements necessary for every organizational change. Without these elements, the attempted changes will always create a large amount of resistance. Change leaders and facilitators beware!
1. Involve the people who will be affecting (and affected by) the change. (No buy-in from these folks guarantees resistance.)
Involve organizational members in change planning. Get their input. Workers can anticipate many of the potential problems the organization will face when attempting to implement the change. Even if the workers do not agree with the change decision, they will appreciate being part of the decision-making process. Employee buy-in is necessary to avoid high levels of resistance.
2. Communicate a good reason (one that is relevant and strategy-driven) for the change. (Busy people will resist changes that they see as irrelevant.)
Have a good reason for making the change. In today’s world, everybody’s busy. If employees don’t see a reason for the change they won’t get on-board. Show employees how the change is relevant to the organization’s success… and their own.
3. Designate a champion for the change. (It is critical to have a respected person in charge of the change process.)
Put a respected person in charge of the change intervention. A senior executive or the owner of the business does not have to be the “champion” of every change. In fact, it might be better to find somebody the workers can relate to. A respected co-worker may be the ideal leader for a particular change. Look for a natural leader who has already bought-in to the change.
4. Create a transition management team. (No one individual is charismatic or talented enough to implement an organizational change.)
If your organization is large enough to have many departments or teams, a transition management team offers many advantages. This team can function as a community of practice, providing both ideas and emotional support. Simply pick a change leader from each department, and then encourage regular meetings. Be sure to support the transition management team with organizational resources (time and/or money).
Well, I’m running out of space in this article. I hope you find these elements to be helpful. I reveal the other 3 essential elements to change and much more in my special report, “Overcoming Resistance to Change.”