Five Keys To Maximize Success Changing Processes
One of the major concerns for executives is how to make sure a major change process becomes successful.
When an executive in today’s corporate environment signs up to lead a major change within the organization, their creditability and job security rests with the successful completion of the project. This is not a time for hope or “just do it” or the people will know what to do when the time comes for a real leader. Change is hard enough – add the word major to it and the stakes increase ten fold.
Looking at the Change Process as a project management point of view, then there are five keys to maximizing the progress of successful completion of the change process. Here are the five keys…
- Early Success is Recognized
The faster people recognize this process is real and no a temporary management phase, the faster others within the organization will want to get involved. When people see others being recognized for their actions and performance with the new initiative, then they want to be a part of the change process. The mindset of employees is usually the hardest thing to convert during an change process and the bigger the change – the more you will be dealing with mindset issues. (If you need to learn more about Mindset issues in business check out this website for the answers – InnerActiveMindset.com
- Match Design with known Buy-in
Minimize resistance to the new innovative change process by matching the design of the process to the readiness of the people needed to implement the changes. In most cases, the first group to work on the change process need to be hand selected after interviewing potential candidates for the initial steering committee or project team. Use people who are aligned with the need for the changes to insure initial success. If you run headlong into a wall of resistance to the change initiative, then you are probably moving too fast with little buy-in or agreement regarding the need for change. Take time to think about who needs to be involved early. By the way, an informal, yet strong influence person should be involved early in the process. This leads to faster acceptance by the rest of the team.
- Use Collaboration and Training for Personal Ownership
The more people are involved and trained in the new methodologies needed for success in the workplace, the faster you get people with a vested level of personal ownership in the change process. Targeted training is a key and vital process of any major change initiative. I have seen merged groups go through personalized training to create a common culture and language to promote successful integration of the different backgrounds AND a change initiative to improve the departments effectiveness with the other functional groups of the enterprise. Training works so include it in the overall process.
- Senior Management leads through Supportive Actions
The worst failures of change initiatives is due to a lack of support and engagement on the part of senior managers. For a change initiative to absolutely work out and become successful, senior management must be up front and supportive – in their actions – from the beginning. In fact, I will go so far as to say – NO CHANGE SHOULD BE ATTEMPTED WITHOUT SENIOR MANAGEMENT SUPPORT. (Sorry about the screaming, yet it is most important) The best leaders I have seen relative to major change initiatives are the ones who make decisions based upon where they want the organization to be in the future – rather than taking the easy (no effort) way and backslide on their position. Things under the control of senior managers should be up front during the change process – like budget control, personal assignments, promotions to the people involved in the change rather than others who fought the change, and public recognition of the change leaders. These factors when executed drive both effectiveness and efficiencies of the change process. Get the Senior Management support first and get them involved early in the process. When others see the Senior Managers leading the change, they know it is a serious process.
- Breakdown the Big Project into Doable Mini-Goals
A common problem relative to motivation during a major change process is making the overall goals too big for timely progress successes. Therefore, in order to ensure high motivation and lower frustration levels – create smaller, incremental mini-goals for people to achieve. By having smaller mini-goals which people can check off along the path leads to higher self-esteem of the participants due to the fact they are completing a number of goals. This level of completion leads to a feeling of achievement or a success mindset. A success mindset is contagious in a positive way – and others want to be a part of this feeling of being successful at work. When we use the Phoenix Seminar on the Psychology of Achievement in organizations, the people who had not taken it wanted to get in a class. Why? Because they saw others feeling good about themselves and being positive regarding what they could achieve in life. And, other people wanted that feeling. This is one of two workshops that have a tendency to go viral due to the way people feel and perform after going through the process.
There you have the master blueprint for achieving your major change projects. Make the innovation and new methods or processes work from the start using these key steps along the way. Too often, I see major business changeover failures due to doing too much too fast with no collaboration or buy-in on the part of the people being asked to make the change happen.
Strong leaders understand the need for using project management skills in a number of different ways. In fact, we have noticed that project management skills are a necessary trait for leadership success today. To separate from the thundering herd of me-too, a well run organization needs to position and separate from the common. The ability to separate from your competition allows you to make a difference in the performance and results of your organization.
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Tags: change initiatives and senior mangement roles, Change Management, involve senior managers early, major change processes, Managing Change, managing the change process, using mini-goals for success, Voss W Graham