Learn how to bring real, lasting change to your organization!
Welcome to Part 3 of the podcast series we've been doing on change management. (You may want to go back and listen to Step 1 and Step 2.) Now you're ready to learn the steps you need to take to actually bring about real change in your organization. Yes, change is hard, and yes, your people will most likely fight it, but once you get going, you'll find the process extremely exciting. In these times of rapid disruptive change and major technological advances, the future of your business may be at stake, so I urge you not to miss this Ask Andi. Listen, learn and share!
First, you've got to make the undesirable desirable
People hate change. They're afraid of it. It's painful. It's so much easier just to keep doing things the way they've always been done. So when you try to get them to change, they typically will balk, and try to put up hurdles to circumvent the change process. What I talk about in this Part 3 is how to overcome these hurdles.
When you start trying to change your organization, you are going to be asking people to change the story in their minds from what they believe to be true to something they are unfamiliar with. They will need to visualize the new story, the new desirable. What's so important about this step is that the new story has to be visual, so if you don't have your people draw pictures and tell you stories about it, it will remain abstract and nothing will change.
Then, invest in skill-building
If your people don't have the ability or skills to accomplish the changes you're asking for, just telling them to change won’t get you anywhere because they won't know how to do it. A better strategy? If you're trying to build an organization that’s, for example, more innovative or more self-motivated, figure out the new skills people will need in order to be more innovative or more self-motivated. Then set up training sessions or seminars or staff retreats to help them learn "how to do things differently."
Pay attention to the why
Why's matter. Success will come by your explaining over and over (and over) the "why" behind the changes you're making. And what you'll see is that when people know why the changes are necessary, they stop resisting. Talking to them about the why brings them into the process, emables them to be part of the thinking and planning, just not passive receivers of new expectations.
Symbols really matter
As humans, we "live our symbols," so take a look at your organization, at the rituals your people construct to recognize accomplishments. Then think about how you're going to change those rituals. The most important changes will be in the symbols, so how do you make them accepted and not resisted and rejected? Get your company's leaders, particularly those who can undermine the entire change effort, to lead the "symbols" change process. If they embrace it and make it part of the new culture, others will too.
Watch our webinar, “Managing the Process of Change”
In this instructional webinar, we demonstrate the ChangeMap™ process that enables you and your staff to adapt to changing times instead of running from what's coming.
To learn how to implement change that actually works, we recommend these blogs and podcasts:
- Blog: Is Your Crisis Coming? Anthropology Can Help You Change To Avoid It.
- Blog: Change Might Be Exactly What Your Organization Needs To Be Successful
- Blog: 5 Ways To Make Your Team Awesome Agents Of Change
- Podcast: Ask Andi—How To Successfully Achieve Change Management Step 1
- Podcast: Ask Andi—How To Successfully Achieve Change Management Step 2
Wondering whether your organization needs to change? Let's talk.
At Simon Associates Management Consultants, our specialty is helping organizations accept, prepare and adapt to change. Applying the tools, methods and principles of anthropology is one of the primary ways we do this. We invite you to contact us to discuss how our team of corporate anthropologists and culture change experts can work with you so you and your business can overcome today's challenges and achieve great heights. We look forward to hearing from you.
- My book: "On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights"
- Our website: Simon Associates Management Consultants