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November 29, 2016

The 4 Secrets to Managing Change

Summary:

Transformation is difficult. But some have succeeded throughout the length and breadth of their organization. What is the secret?

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Confused about change management in your organization? You are not alone. Transformation is difficult. But some companies have succeeded throughout the length and breadth of their organization. So, what is the secret?

1. Adopting a long-term vision

Vision is critical. Companies that commit to the process are more likely to experience a greater acceptance than those that implement short-term or damage-control practices.

See also: Can Insurers Move at the Speed of Change?  

To create that great place to work, the CEO and senior management must show a strong commitment to active communication and to the company vision and values. Equally important, there must be a commitment to ensure that the vision and values of the company are lived and experienced throughout the entire organization.

2. Accepting responsibility

The CEO and other senior individuals have to take the responsibility and lead by example.

3. Communicating the change

The team must plan, execute, evaluate and monitor the change initiatives to ensure the strategy of the organization is aligned with the vision, mission and structures of the company. It is important to note that the change team must understand what needs to be planned and what can emerge.

Additionally, a communication plan must be developed. Communication is that vital link to ensure that an organization change process is successful.

4. Understanding the organizational culture

Although changing an organization’s culture continues to be a highly challenging and often elusive endeavor, according to Levin and Gottlieb, the team must be aware of the people issues because they can enable or block change. Focusing solely on the hard factors and totally neglecting the softer issues can render the whole change process useless.

Any new CEO trying to change the culture of the organization wholesale will run into difficulty. It will be more feasible to get groups of people to change their way of work and teach others how to enact such behaviors. Any other approach can prove to be very unproductive and even destructive to the entire change process.

See also: Building A High Reliability Organization  

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About the Author

Gifford Thomas is the author of The 6 Principles of Persuasion Everyone in Business Should Know. He is a writer and researcher for the Caribbean Insight Magazine and a member of the Harvard Business Review (HBR) Advisory Council, an opt-in research community of business professionals.

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