Change is a constant in our lives, and as a result we’re always looking for strategies for managing change. Do you know how you actually process change on a personal level? We all inherently have a way to work through trying or fast-shifting times – it is our own change management process. However, I’m not looking at it from a reactive place, where we figure it out on the go and rely on intellect, experience, and our inherent ways of working; I’m exploring it from a mindset of change management strategy.
Chances are you look at managing change differently than others in your organization—and this is half the problem. What this means is a tremendous lack of productivity and collaboration, because each person is coming at change and managing change via their own processes (with some obviously more effective than others).
There are a number of ways to go about shifting into strategic change management mode, where lean processes and interactions can shape an overall strategy. First and foremost, though, is an overall understanding of the way change impacts an organization—not at a 30,000-foot strategic level that conveys the reasoning behind earnings prices, layoffs, changes in healthcare, new markets, etc., but rather at a team, managerial, and individual contributor level.
Because before change can be managed, let alone strategized or positively exploited, it must be understood. We need to have a systematic, organizational way that can be distilled to all employees to know what is really happening. Armed with that information, we can start to bring on management and strategic focus.
- Analysis on why the change is occurring
- Realization of who is being affected by the change at numerous levels, from implementation to overall effects
- Convergence on a vision for how to best move forward based on analysis and impact
- Creation of a detailed plan for carrying out the strategy
When these ideas can be understood at a team level, strategic change management becomes an empowered part of the way business is done. It creates a replicable and scalable behavioral model where team members can express and assert solutions based on the need and know when and where to revisit ideas to cope with change.
Change Management Strategy, then, is a collaborative force that is built on knowledge of individual differences in approach and style but is buoyed by the greater overall results that happen through the impact of cognitive diversity.
When viewed with both the knowledge that employees look at change uniquely and the impetus for creating strategy that harnesses these differences positively and cumulatively, change management can be transformed from reactive management to proactive strategy and leadership.