Change management is difficult, especially when it involves a complex structure like an organization. But some techniques are better than others, and here are a few you’ll want to avoid next time around.
Driving from the bottom instead of the top
Any successful change strategy requires the enthusiastic involvement of managers and employees on the ground, and bottom-up goal setting is terrific for innovation and morale. However, unless you work in an organization with no hierarchy whatsoever, your proposed change won’t go anywhere without executive buy-in and ongoing support. So get it and get it early.
Assuming everyone shares your opinion
It’s a mistake to believe that the majority perspective mirrors yours, even if a certain point of view seems obvious. For example, it’s tempting to think that everyone would naturally support a flexwork or citizen development initiative, but without polling and/or focus groups with groups in all functions and roles across the organization, you really can’t be sure of anything. Even if you’re inhigh-growth mode and are under pressure to take action, do your due diligence before pulling the trigger.
Relying exclusively on logic
It’s necessary to build a bulletproof business case full of rational and objective arguments for your strategy, but don’t forget passion, fire, and story. Unless people can feel the problem you are trying to solve, they won’t be motivated to help you. There’s a happy medium here, though. You have to be able to create a sense of urgency without coming across as over the top.
Force-fitting a strategy that’s at odds with the culture
Corporate culture is an unseen, but tremendously powerful force. In any organization, so much goes on behind the scenes of organizational charts, mission statements, and annual reports. Gaining an in-depth understanding of what drives your culture is a critical step in undertaking any change strategy, even those that aren’t technically “culture” initiatives.
For more ways NOT to do change management, check out the full post on the QuickBase Fast Track blog.