Change is uncomfortable, and people have emotional responses to change. Workplace change management also involves procedures, processes, and strategies to plan, implement, and monitor changes. However, understanding driving or resisting forces for individuals, teams, and organisations goes a long way to driving positive change successfully. Here are our ten top tips on change management.
Drive two-way communication and collaboration with supporters and non-supporters.
Understand how changes impact customers, employees, teams, and departments.
Do not expect buy-in from everyone, and be ok with that.
Do not BS - change doesn’t always benefit everyone.
Expect plans to not go as planned and experiment, measure, learn and pivot.
Recognise that some leaders want culture change but are unwilling to change themselves.
Celebrate wins, learn from failures, dispel rumours and be transparent.
Informal networks are as powerful as formal networks in driving or resisting change.
Embrace difficult conversations (avoidance is not a good strategy).
Change Management Models
There is no one universally applicable approach. We've outlined a few below that we've used and recommend to pull out what's valuable and relevant for you and adapt to your context and needs.
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.
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.
Kotters’ 8 Steps to Accelerating Change is non-linear and embodies the spirit of agility, inclusivity, growing steadily, and sustaining change. The methodology has four change principles, four of which can be helpful for you to consider your change principles.