Managing and driving successful change is the top priority for business leaders according to a recently published study by the DDI; see the graphic below:
However, whilst the above graphic shows the importance of managing change, the experience often one of change efforts failing to deliver. The root cause of failing change efforts can often be traced back to common change management mistakes:
Mistake No. 1: Failure to create the urgency for change
Working on the basis of Kotter’s 8 Step Process for Leading Change, creating the right level of urgency is vital to the success of the change. Failure to make the business case for change come alive will cause the change movement to fail even before it properly begins.
Mistake No. 2: Not enough leadership
Leadership is very much people orientated, it is different to management, which is often process driven. The inability to get the right people on-board for the change will have a negative impact on the success of the change.
Mistake No. 3: Not involving those most important to the change – People!
Leaders must take an inclusive approach to delivering change. Active involvement by the people most affected and impacted by the change will help ensure employees at all levels of the organisation embrace the proposed changes.
Mistake No. 4: Ineffective Communication
Communication before, during and after change must be targeted to each area within your organisation, and delivered in a two-way fashion that encourages the team driving the change to listen to feedback. Communication that doesn’t bring understanding and clarity isn’t real communication.
Mistake No. 5: Handling resistance to change
Change will always be resisted. How you react and handle that resistance is vital to the change success. Just acknowledging that there will be resistance and being prepared for it is a good pro-active step. Anticipate the resistance rather than spend time trying to claw back lost ground due to employee resistance. Change rarely happens overnight. Below is a helpful graphic outlining the emotions people move through during periods of change.
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