At Percipio Group, our clients hire us to be a catalyst for change. We believe change managed well can be incredibly impactful. It can help your business and people shine, help teams adopt better ways of working quickly and well, and elevate organizational change resilience. The path to becoming change resilient, versus change reactive, as a culture is not a straight line and involves changing what people do, not what people know. From our perspective, change management is a critical component to achieving business success.
For the past 20 years, we have had the opportunity to work with some of Portland’s brightest companies on change efforts both large and small. Our approach to change management is simultaneously intentional and flexible. We have had the opportunity to learn some change management best practices along the way.
1. Start With The Why.
This may sound familiar and is a best-selling Simon Sinek book for a reason. The why behind a change can be a powerful motivator and inspiration at the start, especially when voiced by a leader. It can help establish a sense of togetherness, urgency for the change, and hope for the future.
2. Identify The Change, Together.
People will better support what they help define and influence. Identify who will be adopting the change early, along with key influencers, and include them in early design and co-creation discussions, ensuring they are part of the solution from the start.
3. Engage With Your Early Adopters.
Onboard them early, and allow them to test ideas and propose new solutions. This group will be key as change advocates throughout the change and beyond, as well as provide you the functional business input critical for a successful change.
4. Get Specific And Start Small.
Be deliberate in identifying what specific habits and behaviors you will need to keep or change to make the overall change successful. Then encourage a trial run, where you can identify and design actionable plans to change habits at scale.
5. Communicate, And Keep Communicating Often.
A message sent is not always a message received, so provide multiple two-way communication touch points before, during, and after a change has been implemented. Explore different delivery types and channels. Also, remember to set your change advocates and people managers up for success before key aspects of a change are communicated.
6. Recognize That Change Is A Journey.
Change is most often not a one-time event with only one path to success. You will encounter change curve dips and turns along then way, especially at major milestones such as when learning or implementing new processes or tools. Recognize that the sponsor or change team may be at a different point on their individual change curves than people experiencing the change for the first time, and keep providing tailored and timely communications, learning opportunities, and forums to share feedback.
Change management can help ensure your change is both a positive and effective transition, while achieving successful change outcomes. The more you plan for and act in advance of a change, the more likely your organization will be prepared to understand and navigate that change.
You are not alone in your change journey – we are here to help! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our change management expertise and how we may help.
Kris Peet Senior Manager | Percipio Consulting Group, Inc.