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Change Management

Demystifying Organizational Change: 4 Drivers for Long-term Value

change management

Change is constant. It drives the decisions and transformations that happen in business today. But change is also the source of much pain and frustration for leaders who don’t have a process for seeing it, managing it, and leveraging it to drive value inside of their organizations. 

Most business leaders face two types of change initiators: external causes that force them to adjust and internal variables that they modify within the company. Both catalysts have the tendency to keep organizations in a constant state of transition. However, the traditional approaches to managing these initiators—and really change as a whole—have become outdated. It’s time for a new approach. After working 30 years in strategic management roles within companies ranging from Fortune 50 to small firms and in a variety of industries, I have experienced the best (and worst) of change management.  

Much has been written on why and how to guide individuals through change. For decades, teams have been steered by advice from CEOs, coaches, psychologists, consultants, and other specialists. Nonetheless, considerable research on organizational change reveals that the majority of transformation programs fail to meet their objectives. Initial transformation success commonly and ultimately results in long-term failures that fall short of a thorough, enduring shift.  

Why does this happen? What are we not getting right? 

In the series outlined below, I am suggesting a new approach to change that is wholistic and sustainable. This article series provides practical insight into four important change aspects that are often overlooked within change management strategies. As a leader, with these tips, not only will you be able to manage change, but you’ll be able to leverage it to drive value in your organization. 

Article One: Understanding Your Stakeholders – 6 Thoughtful Questions Every Leader Must Ask (Read Here) 

We begin by addressing a long-standing “know your audience” principle. This seemingly obvious duty is frequently pursued, just superficially. However, we recommend a far more deliberate approach to identifying and analyzing impacted roles and teams. Incorporate six tips for assessing stakeholders. They establish a solid foundation on which to build an effective path forward. 

Article Two: 6 Practical Ways to Improve Your Communication During a Change (Read Here

Discover powerful communication tactics that leaders may use to inspire, guide, challenge, and engage colleagues. Communications is the most influential “make or break” activity in my experience directing numerous company transitions. Employ proven techniques for ensuring that content and emotion are both delivered and received.  

Article Three: 6 Smart Strategies for Leading Those Who Resist Change (Read Here

Resistance to change is our third focus area for long-term success. Pushback is to be expected, but what if we reframe it and see it as a gift? Can we face opposition with hope? This article provides actionable tips on handling, even creating resistance throughout the transition journey. Learn how curiosity and appreciation may help establish an environment in which teammates’ issues and concerns can be explored. 

Article Four: 6 Ways to Reinforce Adoption of Change (Read Here

Finally, we look at one of the most overlooked stages of organizational transformation: the adoption period. This is the period following the change implementation during which coworkers learn to apply a new method, embrace a new mindset, or make another comparable adjustment. Unfortunately, many companies treat “embedding a change” as an afterthought or ignore it entirely. They are eager to move on to the next pressing matter. Learn six strategies to help ensure your transformation has been fully adopted. 

Final Thoughts

It is my hope that with these collective 24 tips, your next transition will be smooth, your initiatives will be successful, and you will leave a mark as a leader who can drive transformation through change. But remember this: transformational change is impossible alone. You must be open and receptive to help from those around you. No one can do this alone.

With that said, if there is any way that I can assist you personally in your change efforts or engage your team in a formal strategic process, please contact me at gary.mcclure@thrivence.com

Gary McClure is a senior consultant at Thrivence, a consulting firm specializing in strategy, leader development, organizational performance, and technology. For more than 15 years, Gary has led organizational transformation initiatives and taught leaders how to navigate successful change. If you would like to contact Gary, contact him at Gary.Mcclure@thrivence.com.

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