Strategies for Managing Change
Don't Impose Your Will
There are definitely strategies for managing change effectively beginning first with the fact that most, if not all, people do not welcome change with open arms. There is an exception to this and that is if it is their idea then they fully support it.
With that in mind the very first strategy that must be a part of any change is presenting change as if it is their idea and/or their decision to do so. This takes a great amount of preparation and patience. Therefore, if your run an organization that is a dictatorship then this is not a method you will agree with. In that same light if you are a dictatorship my guess is that you have a tremendous turnover rate or you are the military.
Whether change is in the form of a simple new process or something as radical as a company buying out the existing one, it is extremely important for everyone to understand why and if possible they have choices in the outcome. Some might say that an employee’s choice in a company buy out is whether they want to quit or not, but there are many other choices that can be a part of the transition.
Let’s talk about a few strategies for managing change using the example of a new process.
In this example let’s say that I am the supervisor and I already have a very good idea of what changes I would like to make to a process within my department.
Step one would be to bring your staff together and introduce what you believe is the issue that is needing change without informing them that you already have thought of some possible solutions. During that process you let everyone know that their opinions are valuable, which they are, and that together we will solve the problem.
After everyone has agreed that the issue is a problem and needs to be solved the next step is to brain storm openly the possible solutions. This is your opportunity to present your opinion of the solution, while at the same time listening to all others. Remember to state that there are no dumb ideas and that as people present them no one should be judging or commenting as to the practicality of the idea.
The strategies for managing change in this example would then be for everyone to vote on which solution is the most practical one. The solutions that receive the most votes will then be discussed in more detail to weed out solutions that just won’t work or are not practical. This could mean that an idea that will cost too much money will be discarded, and as supervisor you have the final authority on those types of decision. Trust me you will know immediately if the idea is too expensive.
After much discussion the final step would be for everyone to collectively decide on the best solution. In this example even if your original solution was not the final result my guess is that a better solution was decided upon. The best news is that you now have the buy in of the majority of your staff. You will always have someone that doesn’t agree but that is human nature.
These are just a quick example of some strategies for managing change. The most important part of this process is buy in! Without it you will not be successful unless you like a dictatorship, and trust me there are times that it might be your only choice.
Thank you and May God Bless You!
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