21 Jan How to Successfully Implement Change
Feeling blue today? You’re not alone. According to experts, the third Monday in January is statistically one of the most depressing days of the year. Why is that? Beyond reasons like Christmas shopping bills coming due and the dark days of winter piling up, a key factor is three weeks into the new year and the majority of people have already broken many of their planned resolutions. Organizations are no different.
Successful companies, as Harvard Business School professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter stated, develop “a culture that just keeps moving all the time.” For many businesses, a new year marks a time for change.
It’s one thing to recognize the need for change, however, it’s an entirely different ball game to lead and implement change within your organization. Change requires alignment of your culture, your values, your brand, and most importantly, your people.
At Incite, we’ve supported a variety of organizations through significant changes. Each company, each strategy, and each vision is unique. Change doesn’t happen overnight and it’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day operations and focus less on strategy and vision for where you want to take your company. On Blue Monday, many organizations are starting to feel their big 2019 plans start to slip from their grasp.
Here’s a few tips on successfully sticking to your organization’s resolutions for change in 2019.
We say it often. It is something we tell our clients and ourselves on a regular basis. You must focus your business and your efforts on what you do uniquely well. It makes logical, common sense.
But it’s not that easy, is it? We know this too.
You have grown your business to offer a variety of services to a variety of customers. You are growing and profitable. Your customers are fairly happy. Your employees are fairly happy. Why would you, HOW could you, risk that?
The truth is, if you want to grow in value and implement change you must focus. It is one of the most difficult, courageous things that you will do as a business owner. It takes discipline, rigour, and a shared belief in a vision. And it will take you to greatness.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Change impacts all levels of your organization, from your Executive Team to your front-line employees. It is imperative that honest and transparent communications be an integral part of your change management strategy. Why? Change can be stressful for any employee within a company.
Statistics show that unhappy workers cost the North American business economy well over $350 billion annually in lost productivity. Unhappy employees equal less engaged employees, which can lead to higher turnover rates and lost dollars on your bottom line.
Communicating the why is often the most overlooked step in any change management strategy. If employees understand the reasoning and process behind the change, they are more likely to become advocates and embrace the process.
It is also important to note that communication cannot be a one-way channel. Engaging your employees by asking for feedback, questions and input throughout the process is essential.
Culture IQ has put together a great resource on the importance of communication in change management.
Hold Yourself Accountable
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” – Peter Drucker
Measuring the effectiveness of change management is not always easy. Not everything you measure is of equal value. Some of what’s important may change over time or depend on circumstance, but there are a couple of key indicators that really drive your business and that you need to pay attention to. Here’s a hint—it’s not revenue or profitability.
Yes, these are important, but what’s more important is understanding what causes improvements to revenue and profitability. If you’re thinking customer retention, repeat purchases, referrals, results by channel or segment, or client and employee satisfaction, you’re getting closer.
Prosci has put together an extensive list of measuring change management activities. These can include:
- Tracking change management activities conducted according to plan
- Training tests and effectiveness measures
- Training participation and attendance numbers
- Communication deliveries
- Project KPI measurements
- Benefit realization and ROI
- Adherence to timeline
- Speed of execution
Read more on our tips for measuring what matters here.
Are you ready to strategically approach your company’s New Year’s resolutions and make things happen this year? If you feel like your well laid plans are starting to slip, now is the time to refocus, increase your communications, and measure what matters.
At Incite, we help organizations make informed decisions, and we provide the strategic roadmap to move forward with clarity and confidence. Our clients partner with Incite to access our strategic expertise, business networks, and relationship-driven philosophy for growth. If you are ready to kick-off your change management strategy in 2019, we would love to hear from you. Connect with us to learn more about how Incite can support your organization.
About The Author
As Founder and President of Incite, Ted brings over 25 years of strategic marketing and consulting experience to the table. His proven ability to engage in complex business strategy and multi-stakeholder environments has enabled him to help a diverse range of private and public sector clients with growth strategy, communications, strategic issues management and brand development.
Incite is a marketing and strategy consulting firm specializing in growth, brand, and communications. From market expansion and brand development, to supporting post-merger integration and building internal engagement, Incite’s strategic approach helps clients to better understand their market, clearly articulate value, align organizational resources, and connect with key stakeholders to achieve success.