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Eight Keys for
Managing Organizational Change
Change is an ongoing process.
Incremental changes aren't so bothersome but sudden, abrupt, unwanted, or
massive change can leave even the most seasoned professional stunned and
confused. There are many components to managing change. The eight below will
help you get started in the right direction.
1. Change yourself
first. If you are a supervisor, manager, or leader at any level, don't expect
others to respond positively to change until you model change yourself. Words
aren't enough - take action.
2. Explain the why. Why
is the change occurring? Is it economic conditions, realignment, a merger -
what? People deal better with the "how" when they understand the "why."
3. Tell the truth.
Don't compromise your integrity or the trust of your co-workers or employees. If
you do and get caught (you can count on it) your credibility is worthless to
these people forever.
4. Be a good listener.
Change causes unrest and fear. If people can't talk about their concerns they
will burn so much energy suppressing their feelings or going underground and
presenting a happy face to you that productivity and quality will suffer.
5. Tell people about
outcomes. What will ultimately result because of the change? Will the
organization be more secure, more profitable, keep from going belly up, have a
greater market share, better customer service, or greater safety? And, what's in
it for the individuals who stick it out?
expectations. What can be let go? What needs to be added or created? What is
your part and what is theirs? Without clear direction the tendency is to lay low
during changes. An organization can't afford it. This is a time you need risk
taking, creativity, and innovation.
7. Set short-term goals
that provide short-term successes. Letting go is difficult. A bad known feels
much safer than an unknown possibility. One small success helps get to the next,
possibly larger, one.
8. Be supportive. An
extra pat on the back, a thank you note, or an encouraging word can help people
get through difficult setbacks or changes. Having someone who believes in you
and you can count on when the going gets rough makes all the difference.
There are many other things
to consider in managing organizational change. Get these eight right and you're
well on your way to a successful transition with minimal stress, angst, and lost
Doing things right is
important but doing the right things is imperative.
Nash is a nationally recognized consultant, speaker and author in the
areas of change and resilience. To receive her free E-zine Bouncing Back go to
www.Lindanash.com To contact Linda
314.872.8787 or e-mail
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