Change … or transformation

No_PainNow, you are leading a change or transformation effort. The strategic efforts are very important to your department and organization. It’s strategic. You can’t afford to fail.

BIG question: Is this going to work?

Here is a list of likely stages or phases that will occur. However, the sequence could vary based on the organization.

1. Everyone indicates they are on board and excited. You believe that you are moving along positively and in the right direction.

2. Some members of your team are adapting, but a few may be struggling. The struggling team members are now asking questions and may be uncertain that they can do what is being asked of them.

3. Most team members are busy, but their focus on the new initiatives may be slipping and they are regressing.

4. The leadership team may begin to lose enthusiasm and belief in the initiative. You may try to back off a bit to allow them to press through. YIKES! The change initiative is going in the wrong direction.

What can you do now?

Think through the implementation. Is it possible that the timeline was too short or other contingencies may have arisen?

A Few Suggestions

1. Review Accountability – Emphasize the fact that everyone in the department or organization will be held accountable for implementing the changes.

2. Raise the change initiative to the top of the list. Begin every conversation and team meeting with an update on the status of the change imitative. This confirms and demonstrates the importance. This also demonstrates your commitment to the initiative.

3. Seek out the team members that are successfully adapting and implementing the changes to mentor and assist the team members that are struggling. Grant them the authority and responsibility to identify those who are struggling and help them to the maximum extent possible.

4. Some team members may be classified as “holdouts.” They may try to “wait it out” hopes that over time, the enthusiasm will wane and everything will return to normal. Remember, they may have seen previous initiatives die a slow death in the past, and have learned to and trained to “wait it out.” Identify them. You will need to sell them individually on the importance of the initiative and ask them to personally support you.

Be careful not to enthusiasm for your change imitative. Your team must not revert to the irresistible attraction and seduction of status quo.

Related Articles:   Working Amid Chaos and Constant Change , 1000 Ways to Manage Change … But Here’s Five! and Avoid Change Pains … without seeing a doctor!

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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