Championing a Change Initiative
Major change is difficult for most people to handle. However, in an organizational setting supervisors and managers are often the ones expected to “lead the charge”. For this reason, it is important for managers to deal with their own questions or concerns about any change on the horizon so that they can help to not only deal with it, but assist others in the transitional process.
When looking to influence others about a change, it is critical to focus on the benefits that the change is likely to bring (and overcome any resistance arising from perceived losses). Of course benefits have to be thought about, described well and prioritized. In some ways this is not unlike overcoming objections that might arise in a sales situation-individuals want to be convinced why they should “buy into” a new way of doing things.
An ideal process for communicating a change and describing specific benefits is as follows:
- List some of the good things about the old system (ways of doing things) to help establish that there is an appreciation that there were some advantages and good things to be recognized. This is important because people often take criticism of the old way of doing things personally (even when this isn’t intended).
- List some of the shortfalls in the old way of doing thing (being careful to identify some factors that the new change will help or improve).
- Talk about the transition in a collaborative way to ensure that there is an appreciation of the issues that will slow down or speed up the change.
- Focus on the benefits of the new system and why it will bring about greater overall gains with a little persistence and effort.
These four steps do not need to be slavishly followed but they do help an organization’s managers to more effectively champion any change initiative.
The featured video clip is a short excerpt from the ReadyToManage, Rapid Skill Builder eLearning program, Change Management: An RSB eLearning Course.