Last week, we provided two out of the three models that can help managers understand and lead organizational change more effectively and efficiently. As we mentioned, managing this change can be a time-consuming task, and it’s crucial to get to underlying behaviors of the change in order to successfully implement it. Here, we provide the third and final model:
Stages of Change
While we have described people moving through rooms of change, it is also true that there are stages of change itself: Introduction, implementation and institutionalization. Secure change at each stage by asking question such as:
- Who will drive the change effort? Any major change must have the support of top leadership or it will never get off the ground. It might not be the manager’s idea, but it better have his or her support. Eventually, the change must be integrated as part of the culture or there is a tendency to revert to “business as usual.”
- How will change be communicated? Initially, everyone must understand the purpose of the change—why are we doing this? Implementation is where most organizational change fails. Progress needs to be monitored, obstacles understood and course corrections made. Finally, when change becomes reality, that success should be celebrated.
- How will concerns about the change be handled? As the change initiative evolves, unforeseen obstacles will occur. Expect the unexpected by soliciting feedback about challenges and how to overcome barriers. Eventually, systems should be developed that will routinely provide performance information to ensure that the change effort remains on course.
What is a recent change you saw or implemented within your organization? How easy or difficult was it, and how was it communicated?