Top 3 Guiding Principles For Effective Organisational Change Management Strategy

Writing about change management in a clear and meaningful way, even for someone who teaches it, as I do,is not easy. That’s why, after reading a particularly interesting article on the subject of organisational change management by Kelvin Esiasa – President Zambia Society for Public Administration and Society Family Business in S.A., I decided to pluck the eyes out of it (so to speak) and share the following three little gems with you:

Lead with the culture:

Lou Gerstner, who as chief executive of IBM led one of the most successful business transformations in history, said the most important lesson he learned from the experience was that “culture is everything.” To use this emotional energy, leaders must look for the elements of the culture that are aligned to the change, bring them to the foreground, and attract the attention of the people who will be affected by the change.

Start at the top:

Although it’s important to engage employees at every level early on, all successful change management initiatives start at the top, with a committed and well-aligned group of executives strongly supported by the CEO.

Involve every layer:

Strategic planners often fail to take into account the extent to which midlevel and frontline people can make or break a change initiative.

Frontline people tend to be rich repositories of knowledge about where potential glitches may occur, what technical and logistical issues need to be addressed, and how customers may react to changes.

Leaders often make the mistake of imagining that if they convey a strong message of change at the start of an initiative, people will understand what to do.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Powerful and sustained change requires constant communication, not only throughout the rollout but after the major elements of the plan are in place.

Change has the best chance of cascading through an organization when everyone with authority and influence is involved. Persuading people to change their behaviour won’t suffice for transformation unless formal elements such as structure, reward systems, ways of operating, training, and development are redesigned to support them.

There are many benefits that arise from a good organizational change management. A number of organizations do realize hybrid benefits such as improved performance, improved way of thinking and increased revenue generation.

Therefore, embrace organizational change management that would ensure your organization gets the results it desires – not organisational crisis, which sadly, is what too many organisations get these days – simply for no other reason than a systemic ‘fear of change.’

Yes, you could argue that Kelvin has merely rehashed what we already know (and have known for years). But to know it, and to act on it, are two very different kettles of fish! Sometimes, a few good old-fashioned “guiding principle” reminders are not such a bad thing 🙂

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