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Paving The Way To Successful Change

Any improvement strategy, no matter how masterfully crafted, is only as strong as its implementation. The good news is that with a good and systematic approach to implementation, a successful outcome can undoubtedly be achieved.

There are many components to implementation success, from an organization’s culture and values to the efficiency of its nominal processes.  More often than not however, perfectly optimal conditions don’t exist, and a successful implementation requires that some amount of organizational change be made first.   

This is where the process can run into trouble.  Even though making organizational changes can mean the difference between a good and a great improvement implementation, the obstacles of change have to be overcome first. 

Why Change Can Be Hard

The importance of adapting to change is often overlooked as being important to organizational DNA.  In a company’s nascent stage, everything is new, so adapting to change it’s not a high priority.  As an organization grows, it tends to start optimizing by following established, proven ways, staying in a proverbial “groove”.  And at a certain point, it hits a threshold where change becomes intrinsically difficult.  

Change is never easy.  Most people operate with cognitive biases that prevent them from readily accepting a disturbance to their status quo.  As difficult as change can be an individual level, changing an organization made up of hundreds or thousands of people becomes that exponentially more complex.  

Change the Playbook

There are several straightforward but important steps that an organization should take to change manageable and improvement implementation successful: 

  1. Communicate. The outcomes and the expected benefits of the implementation should be communicated clearly to every level of the organization, to alleviate fear of the unknown and create excitement about the wins. 
  2. Generate buy-in. While motivation is an important component of any performance, it’s a necessary requirement in undertaking change.   If your team agrees with your plan, they won’t object to change.
  3. Include.  The more key members of staff are included in the change design and implementation process, the stronger the buy-in and cooperation of their teams will be.
  4. Commit.  Company leadership must show commitment to the change and resolve during its implementation to make its adoption successful. 
  5. Support. Milestones need to be recognized and exemplary performance showcased. Key performance indicators should be institutionalized and made norm to ensure sustainability.

The need for change often doesn’t become apparent until adversity hits.  And while hard times lower resistance to change, in business waiting until conditions sufficiently deteriorate can have serious consequence.  Therefore, it’s important for organizations to start change at an early and less critical stage, even when that can be challenging and uncomfortable. Click here to read more about Trindent’s