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Top 10 Change Management Tips

I've spent my career in the business of change management.

Whether it's been scaling organisational culture, leading multi-year change management plans, or transforming a software product division tools, agile practices, and decision-making processes, I've been at the hard and softer edges of change.

As I reflect on my experience, I'm convinced that the secret sauce of change is a people-first approach. Check out my top ten tips below.

5 kids dressed as superheros

What is change management?

Change management involves procedures, processes, and strategies for planning, implementing, and monitoring changes. However, understanding the driving or resisting forces for individuals, teams, and organisations goes a long way toward successfully implementing sustainable and positive change.

While many change management models and theories exist, aligning and empowering people is critical. Change is uncomfortable. We respond emotionally and resist unless we can see the benefits of the change!

Why is change management important?

Change management is critical to any organisation's success, playing a pivotal role in ensuring that transitions, whether big or small, are implemented smoothly and efficiently. It's important for several reasons.

  • Firstly, change management helps to minimise resistance to change within the organisation. People are naturally inclined to resist change, but through tailored change management, employees can be at the heart of the process.

  • Secondly, change management ensures that the impact of the change is carefully assessed and managed. By identifying potential risks and challenges, organisations can proactively address them, minimising disruptions and maximising the chances of a successful transition. Additionally, it helps maintain productivity during the change process, as employees are supported in adapting to new systems, processes, or structures.

  • Furthermore, effective change management fosters a culture of inclusion, innovation and agility, allowing it to stay competitive and responsive to market trends. By embracing change in a structured and thoughtful manner, businesses can position themselves for long-term success and growth.

What are change management models?

There is no one universally applicable approach. We've outlined a few change management approaches below that we've used and recommend pulling out what's valuable and relevant for you and adapting it to your context and needs.

Kotters 8 Step Change Model
Kotters 8 Step Change Model
  1. Kotters’ 8 Steps to Accelerating Change is non-linear and embodies the spirit of agility, inclusivity, steady growth, and sustained change. The methodology has four change principles, four of which can be helpful for you to consider your change principles.

  2. Lewin’s change management model highlights the importance of the transition to adapt to organisational change. These are Unfreeze, Change, and Freeze. Lewin argued, "Motivation for change must be generated before change can occur. One must be helped to re-examine many cherished assumptions about oneself and one's relations to others." The Unfreezing stage is where change begins.

  3. Bridges' Transition Model has three transition stages people experience when faced with change; Ending, Losing, Letting Go, The Neutral Zone, and The New Beginning. He notes that people go through stages at differing paces. People comfortable with the change move to stage three quickly, while others stay longer at stages one or two.

🔝 Ten Tips on Change Management

  1. Ensure Leadership buy-in - otherwise don't bother. Leaders may want change, but they may be unwilling to change themselves.

  2. Adopt a Change Management Model  - see below for inspiration.

  3. Engage and listen to your people - otherwise change is likely to fail.

  4. Communicate vision often and in multiple ways - one size does not fit all.

  5. Drive collaboration with supporters and non-supporters.

  6. Understand how changes impact your people, your clients, and your partners.

  7. Don't expect buy-in from everyone, as change doesn’t always benefit everyone.

  8. Expect a change of plan - experiment, measure, learn and pivot.

  9. Celebrate wins, learn from failures, dispel rumours and be transparent.

  10. Nurture informal networks - they are powerful in driving change.

In conclusion, change management is crucial for navigating the complexities of organisational change, ensuring that it is met with understanding, acceptance, and effectiveness.


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