In order for businesses to stay competitive, change is inevitable. It is often received with hesitation and even resistance, but when handled correctly change is a great opportunity. It is an opportunity to start clean, to fix broken systems, to build more effective teams, and above all to be the best you can be. As we all know, knowledge is power, and preparing for the challenges of change management will help you be better able to overcome those challenges. If you are in charge of your company’s change management strategy, there are several complications you should be aware of to take better command of the chaos.
Expect Initial Resistance
It is very likely that when you first implement the changes that will provide long term improvements, they will be met with some resistance. The important thing is not to let that resistance lessen your resolve. Don’t expect the overall organization to move smoothly from the point of business as usual to a new status quo. There are frequent false starts, backtracking, confusion, lost productivity, and even some outright chaos. But remember that the best way out is through. Acknowledge the chaos and lead the team through a period of integration toward the new, better normal. With some planning and a little extra compassion, the chaos phase will be as short as possible.
Break It Down
To achieve large scale goals, it’s critical to break them down into manageable steps. Before your team can run, then need to learn to walk. Sometimes they might even need to learn to crawl. Only you know the steps you need to get from point A to point B. Break them down and track your progress. Make wide sweeping changes more bearable by taking it one step at a time.
Acknowledge That Not Everyone Will Get It At First
Part of your responsibility as a change manager is to make sure everyone is on board with the new direction you are taking the company. But acknowledging that not everyone will “get it” on your schedule is a crucial step to communicating and persuading them. Not everyone will understand and accept the new normal in the way you expect either. Coming to terms with that fact, and anticipating how it will impact your schedule, your budget, even your overall success will let you see the forest for the trees. Because change managers who have a 100% coverage expectation tend to blame failure on the people they need most.
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Overall, to achieve success in the most difficult of changes you will need to acknowledge the challenges. You will have to work through the difficulties. You will need to draw on a deep well of empathy for those hit hardest by the chaos. Only then will you be able to convince the whole team that the new way is the best way. For more expert advice on how you can implement change in your company, turn to the professionals at Clarity Consultants. We are here to help.