5 Tips for the First-Time Change Agent
If you are leading your first change management project, then you are quickly realizing that many situations were not outlined in your training. After all, each situation is different and real change happens one person at a time. Rather than constantly focusing on the big picture (a daunting challenge), you need to set your sights on the individuals within the company and follow these five tips:
- Expect Chaos – People fear change, particularly when it concerns their source of income. Once you step into your role as a change agent within a company, you will embody what everyone fears, so chaos is inevitable at first. Let this run its course a bit, all the while ensuring people that you are there to make a positive difference within the business.
- Be Empathetic – If you can empathize with the employees, then you can see things from their perspective. This helps you to determine the most efficient way to get the best out of them. Threats are far less effective in the long run than thoughtful reasoning.
- Expect Setbacks – You can't expect a company, with all of its intricacies and various personalities, to head in the right direction from the moment you implement change. Yes, you will celebrate victories along the road, but you will see just as much backtracking. This is all part of the process and it is your job to minimize the setbacks.
- Be Patient – You need to exhibit patience with both the project and the people involved. Things may seem straightforward and simple to you on paper, but not everyone thinks like you and Rome wasn't built in a day. Although you may be operating under some kind of time restraints, you must be somewhat flexible in the speed of change.
- Admit When Something Isn't Working – If you have a series of processes planned out, yet something is going terribly wrong, it's time to change your game plan. Not all of your ideas will be successful, so don't feel you need to continue trying to make a bad idea work.
Three Gemba consultants described "A Technique to Meet a Change Management Challenge." You can see their responses here in the video below.
Change management isn't something you can simply learn from textbooks. It takes personal experience to become a top performer… a lot of it. However, remaining flexible and seeing the company from the eyes of its employees will certainly help you learn the ropes a lot quicker.
Author: Heather P. Johnson is a freelance writer, as well as a contributor for Credit Card Lowdown, a site for finding credit card reviews. Heather invites your comments and freelancing job opportunities at her email address: Email.