By Nancy J. Lewis
The only thing constant is change, and we clearly saw that over the last two years. To lead an effective change initiative in your organization, consider the following three strategies.
1. Put people first.
This is not just something nice to say, it must be demonstrated in your actions. When you want to create a successful change initiative, prioritize people. People fuel and sustain the momentum of the change. Change initiatives don’t succeed when people are not involved, don’t understand, believe or engage in the change. To make the change initiative easier, leaders must engage the employees in the change process from the beginning.
2. Empower employees through effective communication.
Communication is an essential part of effectively managing organizational change. Vision for the change is only as compelling as the communication that supports it. Communication during the change management process is not a one-time transfer of information. It requires commitment to follow through with updates, clarity, and consistency of the message. It is important to have two-way communication with employees through surveys, focus groups, and informal feedback collection throughout the change initiative.
3. Mobilize leadership.
Statistics and surveys state that the more active and visible top leadership is in the change, the more likely the change initiative will succeed. The challenge is to make sure leaders understand the role they play in the change and can convey it to their teams. Leaders must know they are responsible for achieving change goals from start to finish. They take on ownership and accountability of what they are expected to do in the change initiative. Leaders help the organization understand and interpret what the change means for their teams and the business. Leaders must be flexible and willing to change course as needed when a new approach is necessary.
These are a few strategies to consider as you look at your next change initiative.
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