Below is a short article written by Cliintel’s CEO, Richard Batenburg, also the author of the book, Change is Great. Be First. He discusses why and how you should approach change in the workplace: While courtesy in the workplace is a good thing, there are times when you shouldn’t hold the door so all your colleagues can go through before you.  When approaching change management, forget what your mother told you: everybody has to head for the door together.  Creating a door that’s wide enough to accommodate the crowd starts with a thoughtful change management plan.   The challenge arises in situations where a weakness is identified in a process, tool or issue whose implementation crosses over into multiple departments.  As redundancies and inefficiencies are uncovered, these occasions represent tremendous opportunity.  A skilled change management advisor can look past the institutional status quo to capture unnecessary expenses and unrealized revenues.  The larger the organization, the more likely such opportunities will be.   But the best of times can also be the worst of times.  When change must be managed on multiple fronts in multiple phases, every party involved tends to think someone else will start the process.  The prevailing attitude can often be described as, “Change is great!  You go first.”   Often, the people most resistant to a process change are front-line team members whose daily routines will be most affected.  On the other end of the spectrum are those who don’t understand if or how the change will affect them, and skeptics who take a wait-and-see attitude.  Participants who see themselves as the last stop in the change management process may ignore the approaching change until it’s on top of them, or wait passively to receive their new marching orders.  These people may be lower down on the organizational totem pole, but if they haven’t prepared for the cut-over to the new way, they can sink the project.  It is very difficult to recover from a bad change management experience.   There is no tool that will facilitate change management. Successful change management depends on a full team effort right from the start. While some activities must precede others in the change process, that doesn’t mean any department can bide its time waiting for the baton to be passed.  Instead, it is incumbent on everyone involved to prepare for the hand-off and find ways to help colleagues across the company accomplish their piece of the mission.   Planning, prioritizing, and socializing are the keys to getting everyone on board the change management express:
  • Socialize the vision of how the change will affect everyone, and how life will improve when it is complete. Involve everyone who may possibly be affected by the change, and help them understand that their participation is essential to make the end result address their specific concerns.
  • At the same time, make it completely clear that disruption is unavoidable. Encourage each party to think about how they’ll handle that disruption, and incorporate these steps into the change management plan.
  • Set a definite date for the end of the old practice. (There’s nothing like a deadline to get people’s attention.)
  • Define success of the change management project and how that success will be measured.
  It’s a basic fact of life – and change management – that people embrace what they help to create.  Open the doors wide and make sure everyone gets involved in creating a better way.

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