5 vital ingredients to manage change

Caroline Connor has been running her own UK-based performance development consultancy for 12 years. She travels extensively to corporate clients, working as a coach, trainer and facilitator.

As New Media moves to flexible work days, we’ve asked international change facilitator Caroline Connor to help manage the process.Caroline Connor

New Media is introducing a massive change in the way we work – and that can be uncomfortable, even when it’s a welcome move (who doesn’t want flexible hours and to work from home?). While she’s in South Africa to help ease the process, we asked Caroline for her vital ingredients for getting change right in the corporate world. Here’s her recipe:

Change, as the cliché goes, is one of the constants in life. And we are hugely successful at managing change in our lives. We move house, leave jobs and start new ones, embark on new careers entirely, have children, start and end relationships – and most of the time, even if it takes some time and is sometimes a bit of a struggle, we integrate these changes seamlessly into our lives.

Change in business is no different. In order to survive and flourish in an environment where the scale and pace of change is faster than ever before, businesses need to adapt and evolve. Getting the whole business on board with change can be tough but making sure the following ingredients are in place can help:

  1. Vision – have a clearly articulated vision of what the change will look like when it’s in place and why it’s important. Constantly communicate and reinforce the vision in meetings, one to ones and company comms. Without a clearly communicated vision there will be confusion.
  2. Skills – make sure that everyone has the necessary skills to make the change happen. If it means new ways of working invest in training and support the team in developing new skills. Being asked to change without the necessary skills brings anxiety.
  3. Reward – align rewards and incentives behind the change. Reward the behaviours you want through praise and recognition. Failing the do this can result in gradual change or resistance.
  4. Resources – make sure people have what they need to make the change happen, whether the resources are human, technical, administrative or financial. Working without the right resources can create frustration.
  5. Action – people need to see that change is happening to understand that it’s real and that they need to get on board. Create clear, measurable, manageable action plans and take the first step as soon as possible. A lack of planning and action will result in a false start.

How can you use this?

  • As you embark on new ways of working or projects, ask whether all these ingredients for successful change are in place.
  • If you are implementing change and things aren’t going as smoothly as you’d hoped, identify the symptoms and work backwards to understand the cause.
  • Use the framework to understand your own responses if you are not aligning with the needed change and identify and ask for what you need to get on board.

What do you think of our new flexible hours? Comment below.

Written by Adelle Horler

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