Here are four techniques can lessen the emotional and cultural challenges of achieving strategic transformations in organisations.
So many market dynamics affect the way businesses operate today. To survive and thrive, companies not only must identify the right new strategy, but also must employ it quickly so it reaches all levels of the organisation.
Knowledge alone, though, does not motivate action. Employees can always build resistance to change. There are many reasons why they would resist, so let’s take a look at four techniques that can change people’s reaction to what is happening:
Ensure employees know the external pressures that are driving change. Staff can be energised to participate in a change initiative if they understand how their work contributes to the company’s success. You can use small group meetings to reach all employees and to explain changes in what’s happening in the marketplace. Make sure everyone is clear on why the change HAS to happen.
Create motivation for the change in people who have the power to drive it forward. People who “own” and drive the change can serve as role models. Some will have influence because of their positions or titles; among them will be early adopters and resisters of change, and both will affect the way people around them think. Some are already demonstrating the behavior, values, and capabilities crucial to the future operating model, and these are the ones you need to encourage and support.
Understand and appreciate how people feel during change. Help people deal with their emotional reactions to change and decide whether they can thrive in the new environment. Their emotions will either drive or put a brake on the forward momentum. Be aware of what they are going through and how it will affect each person. It’s surprising sometimes how their feelings can influence their logical thinking patterns.
Support the change by establishing the new culture. When change is in progress or has been established, it’s vital to offer support to people by employing the right tools and processes that drive change so that the foundations for the new ways of working can be built on. The changes have to be embedded into the everyday working environment so that people identify there is no going back. The climate needs to be supported so there is a feeling of permanence concerning the new ways.
These four techniques can act as antidotes to resisting change, especially if they are driven by the management team and supported all the way by the teams affected.
Originally published: 11 October, 2011