Today, I will share with you 16 simple steps to lead change effectively.
Change is the norm
Every business requires changes constantly, in fact, change is the norm.
If you fear change, your company will stay stagnant and sometime will face a painful death.
However, change is the most common issue or challenge that many people in corporations encounter.
Changes exist in technology advancement, equipment, process, systems, leadership styles, etc.
To achieve a change, we need to get the collaboration of our team to reach the goal effectively.
To develop that team, each of us in the company needs to embrace change.
As effective supervisors and leaders of our teams, we should learn how to lead change successfully.
Change can be tough, I know!
Leading change successfully is one of the most important characteristics of an effective supervisor.
Unfortunately, through more than 20 years teaching leadership training, I have seen so many employees resist changes in companies.
In other cases, I have observed that although the idea of change was positive and promising, many leaders or supervisors did not know how to plan and implement change.
Therefore, they failed to embrace change, and it cost the company a fortune.
Business owner’s decision cost millions to the company
The reason was that they did not consult with other departments in their company during the decision process.
What is the motivation to start a change?
The motivation to start any change can come from an internal company decision (growth, problems, new leadership, etc.) or because other external reasons force us to change (compliances, competition, changes in technology and market, etc.)
My intention in this article is to guide you through the main steps to plan and implement a change with little to no resistance.
With this successful plan, you can easily get support from all related parties.
16 steps to lead change effectively:
1. Always remember the main goal, the main reason to change
Keep in mind, ‘Where is your company now?’ and ‘Where does it need to be?’ This gives you better vision of what changes you need to adapt and adjust.
Do not stay stuck on your possible solution.
2. Get input from any involved department
It’s best to invite an experienced representative from every department that could be affected by the change.
They can be your clients, suppliers, accounting department, and so on. They know their strengths and limitations, and what needs to be done.
3. Explain your idea or proposal clearly and the Why’s
Communicate effectively your idea and why’s, this is key to clarify the plan to everybody involved.
Give them the reasons why you feel the need to implement a change in the company operations.
4. Tell them how the change will impact the ROI
It’s best for all stakeholders to learn that your drive to change will benefit the company in general.
Also, let them know how it can improve the possible ROI.
This can state better the purpose of change.
5. Ask for their honest opinion
Their honest opinion can give straight-forward input to your ideas of change, or for finding a better solution.
6. Ask for other ideas to accomplish the Main Goal
Any changing project needs to generate multiple ideas to add more value.
Therefore, don’t be afraid to ask for other ideas to better achieve your goals.
7. Listen with empathy
Always listen actively with empathy.
This helps build trust in other people and make them more engaged in your plan.
8. Keep an open mind regarding other possible solutions
Your solution might or might not work.
Therefore, stay open-minded to other suggestions.
9. Decide, as a group on the best solution
After collecting all possible ideas, get everyones feedback to see which one will generate the best result (ROI) for your project.
10. Get their commitment to change
The commitment will lead to the creation of better and successful change.
11. Create a calendar of all activities to be performed
As an effective supervisor, you can only implement your plan if you have a clear calendar and action plan.
It also helps notify the whole team what activity needs to be done.
12. Communicate to everyone about the change, the whys and the steps to be taken
After discussing all the plan, make sure everything is clear to everyone and delegate well to the team all the activities.
Assign deadlines for all the completion.
13. Implement the change little by little, if possible
Any change can give difficulties to your team to adjust.
It is suggested that you adjust change little by little.
14. Recognize everyone’s efforts during the change
Recognition is important in every process.
It helps them realize you value their effort in the change process.
It will engage them more in the success of change.
15. Keep track and measure the results of the actions
Measurements like deliverables, benchmarks, deadlines should be used in implementing your plan.
16. If necessary, re-think the action plan
Assess your plan.
If it does not get where you want to be, consider building another action plan.
Maybe on some occasions, you will realize, that it is better and economical to leave things as they are.