Change Management…managing it, implementation of new projects and gaining buy-in to new ideas
How often have you experienced this? You arrived at a client, you have a great (some, like you, would say brilliant) analyses which indicates how the client can annihilate the competition by implementation a set of business actions. The client loves it and requests you showcase your plan to the project team.
You are surprised.
This is not uncommon. In fact, this is one of the most common problems in consulting. Consultants simply expect clients to understand the analyses (whether it is presented in the appropriate manner and makes sense is the topic of another blog, but for now we will assume it does make sense) and implement the recommendations. This rarely ever happens. The reasons are numerous, far too numerous to list here. Rather than looking for a list of reasons, it is better to develop an approach to making clients comfortable, drawing out their objections and dealing with them.
In today’s blog we highlight some good presentations and reports which cover change management. Below are our top 11 hints for managing change:
- Change management is not about fancy analyses, charts and meetings. It is about getting people to accept your recommendations and implement your recommendations. Anything else is failure. Clients are aware of consultants who crunch tons of data, present the analyses and leave the change process to the employee. Don’t be one of them. If you cannot conduct proper change management, bring in someone who can.
- Change management is NOT about only getting people to accept your recommendations. It is also about understanding the merits of their objections and trying to determine how your recommendations and the client’s needs must adapt to reach the optimal result.
- People may not want to change for totally irrational decisions which have nothing to do with business. You need to be prepared for this and prepared to deal with this. This presentation provides a great overarching perspective on change management.
- People go through a well conceived and well researched emotional cycle of change. The better you understand this and the more you prepare, the better it will be for you.
- Dealing with resistance is just one part of the process of change management. You cannot deal with resistance by eliminating all people who oppose you. Then you will have no employees with whom to work. You have to show the client that resistance happens in all companies and increased resistance is not always the sign of a bad idea. It is just a sign of human emotional inertia.
- Helping employees and the project team through this process is one whereby you need to coach and guide them. Clearly if they are not assessing the idea on its business merits alone then they need to be guided to think in this way. This is a major flaw of most change processes. There is too little coaching and guidance.
- Place resistance to change in context. It has always existed and will always exist. Do not take it personally
- Ensure you have visible, direct and accessible board level support. You cannot drive change in an organisation. Only the organisation can do this and only through the leadership group.
- Understand the limits of the change you are trying to drive. Only drive ENOUGH change to implement the business case changes you have highlighted for success. It is rarely the case where employees need “new” personalities and values to implement a divisional or sub-divisional change.
10. Change is not about brilliant reports. Sometimes you just have to acknowledge someone. There is no blueprint and each company is different.
11. Do not think you can do everything. If you did the analyses requiring the change in the business, then you may have been “tarred” and employees may resent you and brush off your efforts for no reason other than you having done the initial analyses. Therefore you may need to bring in someone who understands change management.
We have listed only 4 of the change management documents on the site. There are probably hundreds more which may be more useful to you. Happy hunting!
- Ten Tips for Managing Change Successfully (brighthub.com)
- Top 10 Change Management Issues and How to Handle Them (brighthub.com)
- Innovation and Change Management – What is the Connection? [Simon Evans] (ecademy.com)
- Identifying Resistance to Change (brighthub.com)