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Approaches to Change Management

written by: Misty Faucheux • edited by: Jean Scheid • updated: 7/6/2011

Every organization must change to stay competitive, especially in this market. When approaching any organizational change there are steps that must be taken to ensure success. Learn how to successfully approach change management methodology within your organization.

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    Steps that Need to Be Taken

    In an ever fluctuating market an organization needs to change in order stay competitive.But when approaching any organizational change, there are steps that must be taken to ensure success.

    First of all, you need to involve management. Employees look to their leaders to deal with the issues and guide them along the process. So, you need to make sure that your senior executives are fully invested in the change.

    You need to give everyone in the organization and the end-users, if applicable, the reason behind the change. You need to make them understand why the project is necessary and help them understand that your company has the adequate resources and management to move forward with the proposal.

    Each organization has a culture that could be affected by the intended changes. Familiarize yourself with your company's culture. See if you can use that culture to advance your procedures or create a new change management plan and culture that will help solidify the new strategies.

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    Leaders and Employees

    Identify your leaders. You need them to take charge and help with the intended change. Then, you can "cascade" the changes throughout your organization. The cascade method has proven to be the most efficient way of making sure that your employees accept any intended change. You need to address each individual that will be affected and be honest how each person's role will alter.

    Speaking of employees, you need to understand that employees are more than likely going to have a tough time dealing with the new direction. Employees like the status quo. You are trying to change their responsibilities. To many, this is overwhelming.

    You need to make sure that they are invested and are willing to accept your change. If you don't take into account the human side of any project, you will more than likely to fail. Employees will not support you or embrace the change. They will eventually return to the tried-and-true methods that they have always done. This is why employees need to accept and become the standard bearers for any project.

    Plus, you need to reinforce the changes before, during and after the change management implementation. Give the support and encouragement that everyone needs to move forward with your plan. Provide rewards for a job well done. That way, those affected will take ownership of your new plan.

    Communication is always the key when trying to implement any new idea. You need to communicate accurately and often. The communication should be a discussion between management, employees and end-users. Request feedback and listen.

    Finally, you should always expect that not everything is going to go as planned. Assess your progress each step of the way and reassess anything that is not working.

    For the other articles in this series, click here: What is Change Management Methodology and Using Change Management to Deal with the Risks of Change.

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