People who say they “like” change are few and far between! There’s no doubt that change is inevitable in firms and companies—and can occur quite often. Don’t sit idly by in the nosebleeds and watch change happen around you; learn how to take an active role and make a difference.
Depending on the matter at hand, change can be simple or very complicated:
- Simple: Every staff person is given a portable scanner in order for the company to be as paperless as possible.
- Complicated: A change in the tax software program.
- Very Complicated: Complete restructure of the organization, including direct reports, where service lines fall and even the types of services offered.
Change management has to do with mindful planning and careful implementation, and above all else, consideration of those people impacted the most. Change must be achievable, measurable, and realistic.
If you are asked by your firm or company to take an active role in making change happen, great! If not, you can certainly step up and volunteer to be part of the process. This is a great way to help boost your career. Best of all, it’s good for your company.
Change is not an agreement, so don’t make it one. Instead, ensure change is understood and managed in a way that allows your co-workers to effectively cope with it, as well as recognize the need to “change” for the better. If you are able to take part in the change, especially through the planning and implementation stages, you will not only feel better about it, but also know that you have made a lasting impact.
Making rational decisions too quickly can lead to disaster. Moreover, doing so deters you from taking the time to properly plan out and execute change.
It is important to first consider how these changes will affect those around you, and the best way to do that is to put yourself in your co-workers’ shoes. Try and understand their feelings. While everyone is different, we all have fundamental values and strengths. It is key to communicate that the changes are meant to lead the company in a better and more successful direction. And, because you are all working together, your passion for improvement must reach them if your new plan is going to be successful.
Harvard Business School Professor and Author John Kotter spent 30 years researching change and found that 70% of all attempts for change within organizations fail because the groups didn’t take the time to carry out their plans. He has an 8-step process to establish favorable change.
As you work toward finding and implementing solutions to the problems, you must put together a strong team to effect change. This group is not unlike a basketball team; you must all work together and spend countless hours devoted to winning the game. You must find teammates who are as passionate as you are about the changes you want to implement. They must have the vision to be creative and need to avoid negativity that might get in the way.
Making a change is all about improving your business. Often, we neither realize the process nor the time it takes to make adjustments and modifications work properly. Patience, planning, and taking action are just part of the requirement. Getting everyone on board to work toward a common goal is perhaps the most important factor. Without consensus, you’re very likely to be little more than a party of one to the change management table.