The Basics of Managing Change Some key questions to get you started in understanding and working with change

management: What is change management? Change management is a set of ideas, strategies, and skills that can be applied to engage change effectively. These may be applied planning for change implementing change supporting continuous improvement following change What kinds of change benefit from using change management? Change management methods may be applied to any type of organizational change, including departmental mergers, technology implementation, creating team-based organizations and professional development. It may be helpful to think about change management methods on two levels: The first level of change management is generic enough to apply to any type of change, whether it's the creation of a new department or the implementation of a new technology. At this generic level, change management methods are mostly targeted at understanding the human response to change and creating effective strategies for engaging people to achieve change. The second level of change management includes methods that are specific to a particular change. For example, in technology implementations, specific actions include establishing and communicating the business case for change, ongoing relationship building, communication and training for affected staff, redesigning business processes, and creating and sustaining groups to manage the project. While some of these activities apply to other types of change, this collection forms a boilerplate for technology implementation. What are some examples of change management skills? Here's an example of a change management idea: A guideline for assessing the likely success of a proposed change requires evaluating three key elements: the leadership capacity and attention span for driving the change, the business need for the change, and the energy of affected people for and towards the change. An example of a change management strategy: For a communication plan, a leader should communicate about each step of the change "seven different times and in seven different ways" to encourage support for the change and help ensure its effectiveness. Example of a skill: At the outset of a change process, a leader should meet with each major stakeholder group (staff, customers, suppliers, sponsors). Combine active sharing of the benefits and tradeoffs of the change with active listening to stakeholder concerns. This makes any resistance visible, discussable, and hopefully resolvable.

see our article on the Four Room Apartment model of change. What about personal change? Significant personal change involves stages similar to those in the "four room apartment" model. once again we are in contentment. Change management ideas and tactics can help you develop the relationships you need to maximize the effectiveness of a change. As things begin to come into focus. What are the stages that people go through when engaged in a significant change? There are a variety of schemes for describing this general process. where neither the old nor new offers firm guidance. . To learn more about this framework. and each individual has a unique way of navigating them. we move to the room of denial where we are resistant to the change. we reach the room of renewal. we move to the room of confusion. where our scattered ideas for the future may be arranged and structured in the best possible way. Before change. At last.How can change management help me deal with change? There are a number of ways change management helps people deal with change. how they dramatically affect the final need for change. One helpful framework depicts change as a Four Room Apartment where we move from room to room as we navigate the challenges of change. usually with many concurrent changes running through the four rooms. and how you can use that knowledge to attain the best possible outcome. we live in the room of contentment -. Three key benefits include Change management can help you recognize how powerful the human dynamics are in any change effort. As a need or demand for change comes along. A change management strategy can act as a map for guiding action and helping you "stay the course" rather than getting caught up in the complexity and tumult of change. Then the cycle repeats. After navigating through that room.

"In the organization" translates some of those into an organizational context. . So the strategy here applies most practically to helping others in denial. In the organization: This is the status quo. In a real life example. Although broad. which in our changing society and workplace implies a certain continuous learning and continuous improvement of the status quo. but to share information and create an environment where input is welcome. or knock them over the head to wake them up.but you'll recognize it as you emerge from it. In Contentment: No need to do anything but carry on maintaining and tuning the system. In Denial: Share information calmly. the OED team has found them remarkably valid and helpful in timing change management activities for healthy individual and organizational development. They may make it through. In the organization: By definition. The solutions below are Weisbord's recommendations with minor embellishments from us. Making time for periodic check-ins to see how the organization inside and out is doing is a good health maintenance practice that will lessen the chances of being blindsided by change.neither will fit through the barely open cracks of awareness of those in denial. The former is too subtle and the latter too harsh -. so the problem grows and the leader and group chime in too little and too late in responding to the change. Don't force advice (you'll only deepen the resistance of denial).Solutions: What to Do in Each Room Here are some general guidelines to help you manage yourself and others as you navigate the four rooms of change. A typical first instinct when dealing with a person or group in denial is either to not bother with them. but far less gracefully and effectively than if they had followed Weisbord's advice not to force things on someone in denial. people might withhold information from a leader's likely angry reaction. one is unable find oneself in the depths of denial -.

In the prioritizing activities of some retreats. Recall one other caveat from the Room of Renewal -. In the organization: These strategies are simple and practical. Focusing on short term goals helps sustain the commitment to current clients and activities that remain at the core of the organization. Share information. where people in a circle whisper a message from person to person and discover by the time it completes the circle that a far different. often amusing. In the organization: The promise and perils of the Renewal Room are often illustrated during retreats. imagining. or the invitation to be bold in responding can be squelched.having emerged from the waves of confusion into this more buoyant place. Do that and you will be pulled back into confusion. Some are dreading. everyone is talking. an energizing initiative comes to the fore. and contribute ideas. Much of it is rumor built upon rumor (think of the game of telephone. test information. Eighty-five percent of the information that circulates in the Confusion Room is "smoke" with no substance. Your target is a promising solution that will challenge and stimulate people to be energized AND create enough structure to channel that energy into results. since people can feel excluded (especially those outside the room). Then the meeting ends.and the group will probably settle for much less than that envisioned at the height of the meeting. the whole result is at risk -. wondering. If it ends without an action plan. Bring it home first by keeping your focus on action and results . In Renewal: Give people some structure and let them put the new together. In Confusion.In Confusion: Get people together. Too structured an action plan is also risky. Getting people together helps them stay grounded. message has emerged). Focus on short term goals. it can be tempting to declare victory and abandon this change effort to go battle other change efforts that are still stuck in late denial or confusion.

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