The skill to making change stick…


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Yep that’s right there is a true skill to making changes and the best managers learn quickly how to adapt and launch changes in their businesses that their employees, suppliers and clients love and buy into.

Get change wrong and it can cause you to double your efforts to put it right.

Any change positive or negative is seen as a bad thing, people just don’t like it – they like knowing what they are doing and having the thought process of “we’ve always done it this way” means that they are in their comfort-zone, they understand exactly what’s expected of them and how to deliver it. Moving the goal posts and implementing change in a positive manner takes good communication, buy in and direction.

The common pitfalls when making changes in business are normally the same across the board;

  1. Making the initial decision; This needs to be made by the business leader, very often decisions are left to the lower management levels to make which means implementing them will not be as easy as the buy-in needs to come from above AND below… by ensuring the business leader makes the decision the decision is then filtered down to the teams.
  2. Ensuring your management team are all bought in, ready to back your decision, and that they understand they need to support your decision and help implement it through the business.
  3. Remember; those who plan the fight – Don’t fight the plan! So get them involved and get them on-board. (Top Tip!)
  4. Communication is key, as with anything new you need to sell in the changes and make sure everyone has buy-in for the new processes and changes then you will have a team that really want to make it work and will help the launch.
  5. Once you have communicated ask for input; don’t give too much time for input otherwise you will be changing things constantly, give them two weeks to have responded with any changes. If you give the option for ideas and creativity to form then you may be surprised, you may actually get some really useful input!
  6. Manage the process and hand hold them through the launch. Take questions, support training and make sure you are actively seen to be supporting the process throughout.
  7. Manage expectations and lead by example, small mouthfuls of information at a time. As they grasp the changes then others will take them on as their own and you will see them cross-training others.
  8. Reward successes, those that have accepted and learnt the changes, celebrate and coach positively to ensure they continue to see value in the changes.
  9. Remember, anyone who does not comply – zero tolerance, if the team see that there is an angle for not taking on-board change, then they will know that they can get away with not accepting the changes.  By implementing change you also have to ensure they understand there’s no going back – if you have select correctly, tested and trained then there should be no need to go back.
  10. Finally – Commit, roll out and incorporate the new changes into the day to day so that they become “the things they have always done”… until the next change comes along.
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