For more than a decade, change has been anything but linear. Many of the models that we look to for guidance were created in a simpler time, they are no longer enough. We no longer experience one change at a time. Today there is a need to focus on change readiness, creating a culture preparing our employees for continuous and complex change.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that we throw away the existing change models such as the Change Curve, ADKAR, or Kotter’s model. Many of these models still provide a foundational understanding of change and change management. But when we look at creating a workplace where our employees feel prepared to digest, understand, internalize and adopt the change, we need more. I believe that to create change readiness we need to consider:
- Effectively introducing change that your employees will adopt requires leadership commitment. Commitment to empowering employees across the organization to speak up and innovate. Commitment to learning and most importantly a commitment to self. To challenge yourself as a leader to be uncomfortable, to go first, and to openly talk about your experience.
- People are not resistant to change – More often than not our employees are simply not ready. It may be because their mindshare is at capacity or it could be that they were not involved in the change and don’t understand the problem the change is solving or what specifically needs to change.
- Change Management is more than a set of processes and tools, change management must be focused on the outcome. Understanding what success looks like across the organization. The outcomes are greater than a series of KPIs, the outcomes could also include the addition of new skills or new ways of working across the teams.
- Communication has to be from the lens of the audience. Transparently sharing what the impacted employees want to know, not just what the project team wants to share. The change you are leading could involve some incredible new technology but your employee’s first questions are going to be very personal. What does this mean for me? How does my role fit in? Will I have a new team?
- Change is so much more than something top-down. It is bottom-up, it is side to side but most importantly it is about co-creating and building connections and trust. A lack of trust in those leading change is something that limits desire, behavior change, and your employees taking ownership of the change.
- Leading and owning change is not something for the chosen few. Although it may look different depending on your role, it is a skill set for the entire organization. We know that change happens one person at a time so we need to ensure we are investing in building our teams’ change muscles.
Contact us to understand how you can create change readiness in your organization. Get started today with the Change Story workbook, download it here.