As the old saying goes, the only constant in business is change. Inevitably, all organizations will at some point need to evolve by implementing a more structured and radical change program. There are several reasons for this including increased competition, lack of stakeholder confidence, reputation of the business at stake and technological advances.
Change programs are common, but are not easily implemented. They involve several moving parts that must be in sync to set the wheels of change in motion. Here are some important parts of the process to consider:
“In my experience a leadership team only acts in harmony in a change process provided all members commit themselves to the same vision and common objectives." -- Brand Pretorious, former CEO McCarthy Holdings (read article)
In the beginning stages of any change program, high-level alignment greatly reduces anxiety levels and provides a platform to drive it forward. With that being said, it is extremely important for executive leaders to agree upon a course of action for significant change to occur. Keeping everyone informed, especially during the initial stages of the transition process, can set the stage for a smooth and seamless buy-in. People must also know without a shadow of a doubt what is expected of them and how their actions will contribute to the overall cause.
“Leading includes being able to see a future destination, communicating it to the organization, and having the patience to build consensus and make it a shared vision." -- Jean Peyrelevade, former CEO Credit Lyonnais (read article)
Effective communications is about engaging hearts and minds to implement a major change initiative. It involves the planning, design and development of communication methodologies to fully engage people and maintain their involvement throughout the engagement -- sharing important milestones and results along the way. Some practical examples of enterprise-wide communication include project theme development and branding, video messages from the C-suite, project newsletters, internal websites and email updates.
Education and training
"As a leader, you need the knowledge and buy-in of your own people. But, so often we put the efforts of these talented people, and the initiative itself, at risk when the team does not have the skill sets for change management and the analytical tools to do the job." -- Ray Wilcox, former CEO of Chevron Phillips Chemical Company (read article)
The best systems and processes will not yield results unless the users understand and use them correctly. We engage and educate people so that their thinking and behaviors are aligned with the redesigned processes, systems and management approaches that facilitate positive change. This process includes the diagnosis of current behaviors, training and knowledge transfer as a means of strengthening workforce skills.
“Managing the change necessary to create sustainable improvement is usually the greatest challenge. It requires coaching at the point of execution to prepare people for unexpected real-life situations that occur from time to time.” -- Rolf Stomberg, Chairman of Lanxess AG (read article)
Coaching is where the real power of Proudfoot takes root. It is not enough to simply tell people what they need to do differently -- they need to hear how they are doing. Our experts work alongside client supervisors and managers at the point of execution to guide, nurture and support them as they develop new skills and behaviors. Feedback is crucial and our approach involves real-time feedback on progress.
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