Whats your change management strategy?

Often projects, systems, strategies or organizational / culture changes fail. close to 75% of M&A and culture / organisational change management fails!  Due to inept management and leadership.

To ensure success it’s vital to develop a change management strategy that takes into account everything that has to be achieved and actioned to ensure the intended change sticks

To be successful a change management strategy must be wholistic  and incorporate IQ, EQ AQ, TQ and SQ.

Ask these questions as a start to create the pathway

1. Awareness – Why is this change needed? Why Now?

What is the organizational change that the leadership requires? Explain the need in simple and relevant terms?

What are the benefits of the change and t the risk of no change… to each stakeholder? Prepare a list of benefits of your change, to the organisation, teams, clients and individuals.

Why should each person care about these benefits and risks?

How do you ensure that each person has enough risk or gain, to make the extra change and efforts worthwhile? how do you get their discretionary energy to be applied.

What are the consequences and implications of not changing?  To get buy in make it relevant and provide a sense of CAUSE – meaning and purpose around the change and the need?

2. How it change happen most effectively.

Prepare a simple and clear project execution plan. Make sure you clarify and engage all the specifics of ‘who will do what, by when and how – guidelines.’

Design and clarify all the roles  and players ; every individual, managers, executives,  change team and any external support services.

clarify the support that each person can count on, Support may include coaching, mentoring , training and systems /tools.

Clarify the stages in the change project and process. e.g: Meeting stakeholders, clarifying expectations and concerns, Envisioning ideals, Training for skills and competencies for each role and responsibility.

Communicating the initial needs for change.

Assessment of skills/Competencies.

Detailing project progress and wins.

Post change monitoring


What additional plans do you need  detail to ensure the change is implemented successfully and any road blocks or resistance is dealt with..

Providing encouragement, recognition and rewards for all contributors.

Developing a feedback and monitoring system to identify, assess and deal with challenges.

Poviding training, tools and coaching. Getting all role players to share what they have learned as well as their success stories so as to encourage others.

Providing people whose status will be affected by the change, with a more attractive role.


3. What order will the change project proceed?

What are the phases or steps for each aspect of the change?

How will your change be rolled out?  Are you doing a pilot test. Or are you starting with a smaller department or section. to reduce low risk, learn and build experience before rolling out the entire project

Who will manage the logistics, assessments and follow ups?


4. What is your intention as a Change leader?

The leader and the change team’s intentions, signals and messages impact and influence how people feel and behave with  the impending change.

Force or coerce the change.

Or to support, empower and engage each participant to be a positive change agent.

Your intention will be revealed by the you choose to communicate and to manage your change. E.g.

Do you encourage people to voice their fears and concerns, and suggest ways of ensuring the implementation works?

Do you and your change agents make people feel their contribution is important and valued?

Do you provide training, coaching and tools to help people to perform their roles successfully?

Do employees and change agents believe that when they have problems, they have someone to go to who will listen?

Does every employee feel that he/she is special. And that his/her talents can at last be used, and appreciated during the change?

Do you give every employee a chance to visualize the future change at work? i.e. What it will mean to the customer, the company and themselves.

Do you give everyone a chance to contribute creative ideas to make the change work better in their areas?


5. What should you communicate in any change?

During an initial communication, you need to communicate the following, clearly and simply.

What are the benefits of the change:

To the company.

To the team.

To each individual.


What will the end result look like:

Give people a chance to visualize their future after the change.

Give them an activity to do, during which they can act out the role they will play in the future.


How will the change be implemented?

What are the phases/steps?

When will each occur?


What roles will be played?

How will you ensure the change is supported at all levels and no mixed messages occur?

What is the role of the individual, middle manager, branch manager, change agent, executive, sponsor, CEO, internal change consultants, external consultants and the change team?


What support will each role player receive?

What training/tools/support will be given to each role player to ensure they: Understand their role? Feel they have the support and tools they need? Communicate the same message about the change to others.


How will you reinforce behaviour?

What rewards will you give to people who actively support the change?

What sanctions will their be for saboteurs?


Questions you should you be prepared to answer when communicating change.

What will you do to:

Overcome fear.

Compensate people whose roles/status will be worsened as a result of the change.

Create heroes.

Encourage people to discover their special gifts and talents and use them during the change process.

Treat people as though they are special.

Make the change process a magical adventure of self discovery.

Inject magic, fun and creativity into the change.

Support your company’s vision/values as you implement the change?

Ensure the change stays on track?


Why should this change/implementation work, when previous ones have failed?

Give people a chance to participate.

One of the secrets of getting buy-in to any change is ‘participation’. When people participate in planning how the change will impact on them, they are less likely to resist change. So let employees communicate:

Their hopes, fears and ideas on how to make the change work.

Their vision of the future after the change has been implemented.

The contribution they’d like to make to the change – using their own special talents and strengths.

What they can do ensure their team and the company achieve the benefits they want.


A final word on resistance and buy-in

When people resist change, they are not ‘being difficult’. Rather they have a real reason why the change will not work, or will not benefit them.

As the ‘author’ of your change process, you can choose to win them over with a well conceived plan,

or you could choose to push them into a situation where they feel trapped, and thus create drama and conflict.


The choice is yours.