“Change is the only constant in life.” – Heraclitus
Everyone is aware of the fact that if one does not change with time, then he is bound to face failure in all aspects of his life. Similarly, every business needs to better its practices with the invention of new technology, methods and rules. Failure to do so will result in lack of productivity and creativity; leading to the untimely end of the business.
Many change management gurus have realised the impact of the change in the business world and have summarised certain rules and methods which can help every organisation to grow in the right manner and embrace good change with open arms. Some change management gurus and their preachings are mentioned below:
Kotter’s 8-Step Process is regarded as the best change model in the world. If you are planning for major change initiatives from scratch, then the following would be a wise approach for you:
- There should be a sense of urgency around the need for change.
- Gather the leaders who will handle change in the desired departments throughout your organisation
- You need to have a tangible vision for the future for your prospects to understand and accept
- You need to make sure that your vision coincides with everything that you to do
- Double check all the barriers and remove them immediately to implement change
- Set short-term targets to motivate your prospects by ensuring early wins.
- While searching and grasping opportunities for quick wins, identify and improve areas which need help
- Make all your prospects understand the importance of change by making it an integral part of your corporate culture
Daniel Goleman believes that to understand and manage our emotions and of the ones around us, one needs to possess strong emotional intelligence. Proven change management initiatives have showcased incredible competency in areas, like self-management, self-awareness, empathy, relationship management and social awareness. The three most important personal qualities of the best leaders around the world are self-management, self-awareness and empathy.
Any business leader can utilise these qualities to implement change in his organisation because as the leader, he has to set an example for his subordinates. He needs to show them how if one can manage his or her emotions, is aware of his or her actions and has utmost empathy towards others around him or her; then success is just a few steps away. It will not only ensure the successful growth of the company but their own as well.
He explained the following as the most critical strategic imperatives for transforming organisational change:
- You can inspire engagement among your employees by focusing on the need for change. Building a team is easy; changing their perspectives and behaviours isn’t so.
- The best way to cut costs is to invest in leadership development and talent
- A successful transformation is possible only when you give your prospects the right resources and support during the change.
- Your organisation should create a culture that motivates continuous learning and self-development
- Accept suggestions and encourage open debate to ensure a positive work environment
According to Hiatt, the primary factor which leads to an unsuccessful transformation is employee resistance towards organisational change. He proposed the ADKAR model as a way to address the issue. The ADKAR model identifies the five major building blocks that bring about successful change:
- Awareness- Make your employees aware of the need for change
- Desire- Your employees must desirably participate and support the change
- Knowledge- Help your employees to gather the knowledge of how to change
- Ability- Make sure that your employees have the ability to learn new skills or implement the change at the necessary performance level
- Reinforcement- You, as the leader, must reinforce the vision for sustainable change management to make your employees understand its significance
Adherence to the factors mentioned above is the right approach towards a successful change in your organisation. Business leaders can try them at lower levels to measure the outcomes, and accordingly, modify it as per their organisational needs. Many team building activities also help in identifying the comfort zone of your employees, which can guide you towards effective methods to ensure success.
Lewin’s Unfreeze-Change-Refreeze model is a change management framework that addresses the obstacles to organisational transformation; focusing on motivation, implementation and adherence.
- Unfreeze- Accepting change is establishing a new status quo in the organisation. You need to break the existing status quo before introducing a new one. To achieve success in the desired transformation, you need to prepare the organisation to accept the fact that change is necessary. This will challenge your organisational values, beliefs and behaviours.
- Change- Help your prospects understand the benefits of change. Once they are aware of the positive side, they will happily accept and embrace the new direction.
- Refreeze- Re-freeze and lock in the processes after the new practices begin to take shape and are incorporated into everyday business properly. The new procedure should become your standard operating procedure.
Any business can implement this lesson because it only tells the correct way of approaching and accepting change; instead of focusing on specific practices.
You need to accept change with open arms because the business world also adheres to the rules of ‘survival of the fittest’. When you believe in it entirely, only then will your employees trust how beneficial will change be for your organisation.