Making Changes the Right Way
By Randa A. Wilbur
Is Your Organization Ready?
Here are some questions to determine if your company or non-profit is ready for
a large-scale change initiative:
- Have the folks at the top bought off on it?
- Are senior managers willing to continually convey the change message?
- Are they willing to support the change through their own behavior?
- Below senior management, who are the operational leaders who need to be sold and
take an active role in driving the change in their departments?
- Are current organizational policies, practices, accountability, feedback mechanisms,
etc. in line with the change? If not, they could kill the effort.
- What barriers are in the way? Are there plans to overcome those barriers?
- Are you being realistic about how long the change process will take?
Communicate the Change
Some things to keep in mind when communicating a change initiative to employees:
- People need to understand why the organization is changing and need to be sold on
- You should decide beforehand on the communication vehicles. Communication should
be frequent and ongoing.
- Training should be provided, if necessary.
- If people will lose their jobs, this needs to be communicated to them openly and
- Rather than slashing jobs, you may want to work with top employees to reengineer
Be Ready to Do Some Tweaking
The change management team needs to have its finger on the pulse of what is and
isn't working so they can intervene where appropriate.
Many companies try to take as much cost as possible out of their change initiatives
by developing and conducting their own training, or by short circuiting many of
the items mentioned over the last couple days' tips.
Keep on top of what's going on, constantly referring back to your original goals
and commitments. Be willing to make modifications where necessary, without compromising