On this St. Patrick’s Day, we reflect on the luck of the Irish! Roman philosopher Seneca said, “luck happens when preparation meets opportunity,” and this could not be more accurate for organizational change management. The more you plan, manage, and align the more likely you are to realize your business goals in the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
A successful change effort is not about just sending a few emails, some training, and crossing your fingers wishing for the best. Don’t rely on luck; be deliberate with the strategies below when developing a change program of any size, type, or complexity. Grab a pint of Guinness and read on…
- Align your leaders…at all levels of the organization. Many OCM practitioners would argue alignment begins at the top, but the reality is it begins everywhere. Focus on aligning senior leaders, middle leadership and management, and key influencers. Ensure everyone understands and accepts the business case for change, their role as a change leader, and what they need to do to actively and visibly support the change to set a solid foundation for all other change activities to follow.
- Equip your change leaders and influencers…with tools and knowledge. Templates, communication support, change coaching, and other tools all help change leaders feel empowered to be the most active, visible, and engaged leaders they can be. Don’t forget to share vital project details, changes, and go-live plans with enough notice for leaders to prepare for message delivery. Take it one step further and involve them in these key decisions, which lends weight and confidence to the messages you’re asking them to deliver.
- Communicate early and often…with valuable, helpful messages. Project updates are great (and necessary) but people really want to know what’s changing and how they will be impacted. Use high-impact channels to tell employees what they need to know to be successful and reassure them “change” is not a bad word. Generating two-way dialog via team meetings, virtual town halls, and system/process demos provides a forum for questions to be answered and voices to be heard.
Research shows projects are six times more likely to achieve the intended business goals when change programs are well-planned, considered, and thorough. All your preparation for change will align with the opportunity to achieve great success…and that’s the luck you can count on.