A Culture of Change

Change is inevitable. As time moves ever forward, change is woven into its fabric.

It can be small and incremental or it can be large and disruptive. How one deals with change defines whether the experience is positive or negative and varies by degree. Change, from a business perspective, can accelerate an organization’s growth, produce a surge in productivity or it can bring an organization to a screeching halt. The keys to positive change can be found in a well-designed company culture.

Preparation

While we may ‘know’ that change is inevitable, change takes humans out of the comfort of the familiar. The nature of change is a different pathway. Prepare your organization to accept change as a natural part of its evolutionary process. This should become a belief within the company – to see change as both welcome and necessary for growth and success.

Develop a process through which change is an activity like paying bills, selling or marketing your brand. Administer regular strategy sessions with the leadership of your organization to identify how and when change fits into the overall vision of company success.

Communication

Any change that occurs should be in alignment with the strategic planning of any business. Through this alignment, all communication will have a proper context. Employees will need to understand the reason for the change, how it aligns with the strategy, their part in the activities related to the change and how they will be measured before, throughout and after the change process. 

Involve people throughout the organization to review the need for change and various options for change. Create a team (or teams) from different departments to drive the process from inception through implementation.

Define and create the necessary training to provide employees with the tools to be successful at implementing the change.

Accountability

By setting clear and proper expectations for key stakeholders, the success of the change can be measured and redirected as needed. To achieve the desired ‘buy in’ for the changes, each affected employee must know what is expected of them and how their success will be measured. Create a simple dashboard or tool to clearly see the impact of each area (individual, team, company) on the defined change success goals.

Feedback

Through measurement of the expectations at the individual, team, department and organizational, the change can be managed properly. Share the results on regular intervals (weekly, monthly, quarterly -  depending on the size of the change and the affected business areas). This will allow the area employees and managers to see where activity is effective and where improvements must be addressed.

Provide recognition for success to foster goodwill and celebrate the accomplishment of the change. Be sincere with praise and communicate how these success metrics drive towards the vision of the company. Change is inevitable. Be in a position to make that change a positive and successful endeavor.      

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