Ever felt broadsided by an unexpected change at work or watched helplessly as your carefully crafted business improvement idea died a slow death? Avoid these painful reactions to change by applying best practice from the change management experts at PROSCI. In fact, PROSCI research indicates taking care of “the people side of change” means a project is 6x more like to meet or exceed their business objectives.
What does this look like practically?
PROSCI has identified three critical principles for taking care of the “people side of change”. First, successful change projects apply a structure. This structure should support three basic outcomes:
- Awareness: People are aware the change is coming and have multiple opportunities to ask questions to better understand it.
- Impact: People understand what they need to do differently to embrace the change
- Help: People know where to go to get support when they have problems working in the new environment.
With these outcomes in mind structured change management approach can be applied to any industry or department. In fact, over the last 10 years I have applied this basic structure in contexts as diverse as process improvements at an agricultural ingredient company and talent development in a high-tech supply chain.
So how do you start applying a structured frame? Begin by asking three types of question:
- Big Picture Business Outcomes: What is the compelling story for the change? What business outcome needs to be achieved? By who? By what date?
- Climate and Network: What is the current attitude of those impacted by the change? Who is influential in helping them better understand the change?
- Training and Support: What skills need to be developed in order to embrace the change? How will the use of those new skills be reinforced?
Once you started to answer these fundamental questions, you will have a strong case for why the change should happen, who needs to participate and what they need to learn in order to be successful in the new world.
Using a structured approach is only the beginning; in future posts I will highlight additional best practices for taking care of the “people side of change”. In the meantime, you can deepen your understanding of this topic in three ways:
- Comment on This Post: What outcomes and questions have you found helpful to provide structure for supporting people going through change? Post your comments below and I’ll be glad to provide additional insights in the discussion.
- Download Free Proven Change Leadership Tips: Sign up here to receive proven tips on how you can develop change leadership skills.
- Schedule a Free Consultation: If you or your organization are undergoing any sort of change, I would be glad to brainstorm on how to apply a structured approach in your business.