Leading an organization through change can be difficult. It's important to have a well-thought-out plan in place before you start making changes. By doing so, you'll be able to ensure that your changes are successful and that your organization is able to adapt to the new dynamics smoothly.
Change management plans help organizations successfully navigate through organizational changes by providing guidance and support during each stage of the process. These tips and tactics will help you build a strong organizational change management plan for your next digital transformation or business initiative.
Start by assessing the current state of your organization and what needs to be changed. This will help you determine what type of change is needed and how to best go about making those changes. It's important to involve all stakeholders in this assessment so that everyone is on the same page from the beginning.
Start with a survey to gauge things like employees' trust in the leadership team, their perceived company culture, their satisfaction or gripes with existing processes and technology, and their general appetite for change. This will give you a starting point in mapping out your organizational change management plan.
Create a roadmap for your organizational change plan. This roadmap should include the goals of the change, who will be responsible for each stage of the process, timelines, and what resources are needed to be successful. Having a clear roadmap will help keep everyone on track and ensure that the changes are made in a timely manner. Sure, things can change midway through depending on the status of the project, but it is critical to the process if you want to be successful.
Communicate early and often with all stakeholders. Change can be difficult to deal with, so it's important to keep everyone informed about what is happening and why the changes are being made. Open communication will help reduce anxiety and allow everyone to prepare for the changes ahead.
It's also important that the same message is communicated in various different formats. You must meet people where they are. Some people have 100 unread emails in their inbox as you read this, and if your only means of communication is email, the message will get lost. Consider calls, live meetings, round tables, pre-recorded videos, etc.
Make sure you have buy-in from all levels of the organization. IT starts with executive alignment and ensures the people leading the general corporate strategy are in alignment with the digital strategy as well. From there, it comes down to ensuring there is alignment between management and the employee base on why a change is happening and how the change will impact the organization. It will be difficult to implement organizational changes successfully. It's important to get everyone on board with the changes before you start making them.
Be prepared to deal with resistance. Change is often met with some resistance, so it's important to be prepared for it. Have a plan in place for how you will deal with resistance when it arises. Trying to force changes on people who are resistant will only lead to more problems down the road.
Implement changes gradually. Making too many changes at once can be overwhelming and lead to more problems than necessary. Implementing changes gradually will allow people to adjust to the new way of doing things more easily.
Evaluate the results of your organizational change regularly. It's important to track the progress of your organizational change and make adjustments as necessary. Evaluating the results regularly will help you ensure that the changes are having the desired effect and that your organization is moving in the right direction.
How will jobs change as this change is implemented? What will the new roles and responsibilities look like? Understanding the change impact and speaking to that impact is what will alleviate the struggles that often come with organizational change management.
Be flexible and adaptable. Things will inevitably go wrong during a big organizational change. The key is to be flexible and adapt as necessary. Having a rigid plan can often do more harm than good when things don't go according to plan. Being flexible and adaptable will help you navigate through any bumps in the road and come out successfully on the other side.
Going through a big change in processes is a good time to also adjust and fine-tune your company culture. Ideally, you want to start the fine-tuning of your company culture toward a more entrepreneurial, adaptable culture before you begin making actual changes. Even so, with organizational changes come new opportunities to reinforce the values that are important to your company. Making sure your culture is aligned with the changes you're making will help ensure a successful transition.
Organizational change can be difficult, but if you have a plan in place, it can be much easier to navigate. Use these tips to build a strong organizational change management plan for your next digital transformation or business initiative.
Download the Organizational Change Management report below for a cohesive guide to OCM strategy. This guide will dive deeper into the proven tactics that leading organizations use to help lead their teams through digital transformation.
If your organization is preparing to go through a digital transformation, feel free to lean on our change management experts to walk you through the best practices behind OCM. At the least, we are always happy to be an informal sounding board on your journey toward a new dynamic.