Change Management is a professional approach to how we manage change in a business. It is the theory of how best to manage change so that the project benefits can be maximised.
We have all heard the anecdotal comments that employees adopt a negative approach to change and that tends to be true. However, this is due to poor communications from management resulting in employees being suspicious about the change, fearing loss of pay or even loss of employment. These fears can seriously scupper a project with benefits being under achieved because employees haven’t bought into the change. This is easily overcome with effective communications – a significant part of a change programme.
Within a workforce, individuals adopt habits of behaviour. Executing tasks become a habit when individuals internalise what has to be done, why it has to be done and how to complete the task or the ‘Why, what and how’ – Steven Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Miss out one of these areas and the workforce concerned will not deliver to their maximum. Commonly the area not addressed is the “Why”, but as I have said above this is basic internal communication.
- Gain understanding of all employees.
- Gain the support of all employees.
- Maximise project benefits.
I have probably had more experience in this area than most. I worked for BT when it first ceased to be a monopoly leaving the Civil Service to become British Telecom, we went through this process of liberalisation, then privatisation, technological change after technological change and management reorganisations every few years and of course the resulting staff reductions.
One of my jobs in BT was that of Change Manager and I led a Change Programme to change the operating procedures in our UK Directory Enquiry Centers involving some 3,000 people. The basis of the change programme I developed used theories from Steven Covey the author of The Habits of Highly Effective People and John Adair’s theories about the workings of a team.
So to summarise, within our change programme we addressed the why, what and the how, whilst addressing the needs of individuals, the team and the task in hand. As a result the project supported by our change programme was a success realising the planned benefits.
How can I help you?
So if you need help or support with managing a change in your business, get in touch.