Change is a journey, and few journeys go as planned. This article focuses on the fourth act. To ensure that plans developed in the previous stage (architect) stay on track and evolve when necessary, leaders must give employees a sense of ownership in the process, as well as the energy needed to change. This article shows how.
- Build strong governance: A governance structure that clearly defines roles and responsibilities improves change program success by 6.4 times. In most effective programs, there are four key components: an executive steering committee, a change management office, executive sponsors, and their teams.
- Choose a way to grow: Companies test ideas, learn from failures, and quickly scale up successes, reducing damage, providing valuable lessons, and building a desire for change. But impatient companies typically rush into pilots.
- Make changes to the program as you go along: A CMO must provide an initiative- and program-level view of progress and impact via relevant metrics and milestones. If it does, change initiatives are 7.3 times more likely to succeed. Good data is required for this mandate.
- Health: Generate energy: During change programs, employees have to keep doing their jobs, but they have to change the way they do them, too. There is more work that needs to be done, so change leaders must make sure that programs generate more energy during the act stage than they use. Change leaders can get people excited about their projects by mobilizing influencers, making change programs personal for a critical group of leaders, and involving the workforce in two-way conversations.
- Engage influencers: Companies can successfully mobilize influence leaders by enlisting them in pilot programs. Create a two-way pipeline that allows influencers to provide early input on the program’s implementation. Using this group to develop new ideas may improve their efficacy and acceptability.
- Personalize change: Workplace adjustments aren’t enough to change attitudes (a new stimulus). Wait a long time to change attitudes if you only change the work environment. Changes in the workplace will affect everyone differently. Finally, programs must depend on leaders to model new behaviors even when outside help is limited. The organization must then realize that the largest barrier to personal development is the tendency to criticize others.
- Use two-way communications: Change programs are four times more likely to succeed when they are supported by high-impact two-way communications.
- Motivate through social contracts: Indeed, remuneration is linked to a lot of different things, like how well the company does, how well the department does, and so on. There is no single statistic that has a big impact on overall performance. When a company changes how it pays its employees, there may be unintended consequences.
Aspire, assess, and architect are the first three stages of a change journey that usually take months or years. The act stage, on the other hand, usually takes a lot longer. As soon as the game starts, points don’t usually come from well-planned moves. In both sports and business, being able to change things up in the middle of the game usually makes the difference between winning and losing.
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