"Here's a simple approach to change management. It's an ongoing process based on five principles -
You've got to help your team:
- Adjust, and
For each of these principles, I have a couple of best practices I want to share with you.
There are two things you can do to help your team anticipate change, and they happen before you know what the change even is.
- You always want to position change is as a good thing, and
- Forecast surprising developments.
People prefer the status quo and view change negatively. So, promote change as a sign of progress in a normal course of business. It's not something to be feared. It's something to be celebrated and look forward to.
Then forecast surprising developments because they're likely coming. You don't know exactly what the surprising development is, but when people believe that surprises are common, they don't get caught off guard as much.
Two things you can do to help people accept change:
- You explain the change, and
- Let them vent.
Explain what's expected, when it's expected, and what they're going to be accountable for. You won't be able to answer all their questions, but answer the ones you can. And if the change is unpopular, let your team vent, because venting is part of the acceptance process. And it's a valuable form of team bonding.
Two things to help your team adapt:
- Include them in the planning process, and
- Make sure they have the right tools and resources.
You want to give them a sense of control and responsibility, and that's why you give them input. And the tools and resources are going to give them the confidence needed to engage.
Two things to help your team adjust:
- Make sure you're giving and getting feedback, and
- Make sure you're solving problems fast.
You cannot implement a plan and just walk away. This is where most change initiatives fail. There's no feedback loop, and barriers continue to block progress.
And finally, three things to help your team anchor the new behaviors:
- Share best practices,
- Give a lot of positive feedback, and
- Celebrate the change.
Change is a wonderful accomplishment, especially in difficult times and especially with difficult changes. You want your team to take pride in their ability to adapt, grow, and overcome obstacles. And that's why you celebrate difficult changes. This is another way to bond your team and build team pride too.
So remember the principles: Anticipate, Accept, Adapt, Adjust and Anchor, and try those best practices. Your team will build the agility it needs to embrace and succeed going forward."
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