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Archive for change management

Four Tips for Selling Change in the Workplace

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.
~Gail Sheehy

Change is not only inevitable; it’s necessary! Without change, your organization can’t grow. It can’t take advantage of new opportunities. It can’t remain competitive. However, it’s natural for your employees to fear change. The unknown is scary! To make your organizational change as effectively and efficiently as possible, an important part of managing change is selling change in the workplace. Following are four tips to help make this process easier.

  1. Make Sure Employees are Aware of the Change Necessity. Although the reason for change may be obvious to you, it might not be so obvious to your employees! If you want to sell the change as part of effective change management, make sure you not only tell your employees what the change is going to be, but also tell them the why behind it. Share with them how the change will benefit the organization, as a whole, and even them directly.

  2. Choose the Best Time. Timing is everything – that includes selling change in the workplace. If it can be timed correctly, you’ll minimize the amount of resistance to the impending change. Think about the other things going on in your organization and what key organizational members have on their plates whose buy-in you really need.

  3. Support. Support. Support. There will always be naysayers to any proposed change. The best way to sell change to these folks is to have support to back up the necessity and the value of your proposed change. You can never have too much documentation to support your change. When developing this documentation, try to anticipate what challenges others will bring to light against your organizational change. There are usually always downsides to every change; however, develop support to show that the rewards to the change outweigh any potential downsides.

  4. Be passionate. The best salespeople believe in what they’re selling. This is just as true for selling organizational change as it is for selling tangible products! Be passionate about the change you want to implement and the value it offers the organization. You should be the champion of this change! Your passion, enthusiasm and commitment will be inspirational to others and help make the buy-in to this change that much easier.

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference keynote speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 entertaining programs in 48 states and five countries. She is the author of 10 published audio programs and two books including SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.

Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (623)340-7690.

 


“A company’s culture is often buried so deeply inside rituals, assumptions, attitudes, and values that it becomes transparent to an organization’s members only when, for some reason, it changes.”

~Rob Goffee

Organizational culture is an interdependent set of goals, values, visions, processes, attitudes, assumptions, and roles. When a leader wishes to make a change to the organizational culture, this can be one of the most difficult undertakings. The interdependent facets of the culture serve to reinforce themselves and actively work to prevent change. Following are four common mistakes made when changing organizational culture.

  1. Relying on coercion – One of the most common mistakes leaders make when trying to change an organization’s culture is the use of coercion to garner buy-in and acceptance from their employees. You can’t force people to think or feel a certain way. Instead, you should foster the acceptance of the change by sharing your vision of the new organizational culture and inspiring them to accept it voluntarily. Allow them to envision what the future of the organization will be like once the new organizational culture is in place, and the benefits this new culture will bring for not only the organization but themselves as well!
  2. Failure to use management tools – For those who have inspired their employees to accept and support this organizational culture change, the second most common mistake is failure to put in place management tools that will help facilitate the cultural change. These management tools need to support the new goals, values, visions, processes, attitudes, assumptions, and roles of the new culture. From new role definitions to new measurement and control systems, without these tools in place, the changes made will likely be short-lived.
  3. Lack of communication – As with any change management strategy, communication is key, yet it is surprising lack of communication is still a common mistake. For changing organizational culture, this communication shouldn’t just be top-down communication. Instead, communication should be handled horizontally and with discussions rather than demands. Continue to share and discuss the new culture and the vision of this new culture, reinforcing its value to the entire organization and each individual.
  4. Starting too harshly – Although you may be eager to get the new organizational culture in place, don’t go at it like a bull in a China shop. Don’t immediately start by reorganizing the company. This will only serve to cause people to dig their heels in deeper and work against the cultural change you’re trying to implement. Also, bringing in a new team of executives right off the bat will sour people on the cultural change, as they feel their position within the organization and potential advancement are threatened. However, the one thing you DO want to do quickly is put in place the new systems and processes to support the new cultural vision. Don’t hesitate on that aspect, or you will see your unsupported cultural change falter!

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference keynote speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 entertaining programs in 48 states and five countries. She is the author of 10 published audio programs and two books including SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.

Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (623)340-7690.

Developing Change Leaders

Thursday, February 28th, 2013


Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

~ John F. Kennedy

In many industries, the only way to remain competitive is to change – and often change rapidly. As Mark Sanborn once said, “Your success in life isn’t based on your ability to simply change. It is based on your ability to change faster than your competition, customers and business.” Change doesn’t happen typically by itself, though. Who is going to lead this critical change in your organization?

This is where a Change Leader comes into play!

What is a Change Leader?

A Change Leader is an employee, appointed by the executive sponsor of the change initiative, who provides the daily leadership, coordination and enthusiasm needed for change management. A Change Leader’s normal duties may be scaled back, in order for them to have the time to address the needs of the change management process. Additionally, a Change Leader has the duty and the power to motivate employees at all levels of the organization, to ensure the change project is completed.

How to Develop Change Leaders

There are certain traits that accompany effective Change Leaders. Change Leaders are typically positive and upbeat. They are “do’ers,” taking action when action is needed. They are emotionally stable and do not let the challenges of the job at hand get them down. Effective Change Leaders are open, outgoing and friendly. Lastly, Change Leaders are confident in not only their abilities but also in the projects they adopt, knowing they will succeed!

Following are ways to develop these key traits and create effective Change Leaders in your organization.

  • Change management training – To be effective, your Change Leader needs to understand the basic principles and theories behind change management. Additionally, they need to be able to utilize the tools and mechanisms that will be important in successfully implementing the change.

  • Build on natural talents – When selecting which employees to develop into Change Leaders, look at their natural, soft skill sets. Look for those employees who have an optimistic attitude and who like to get involved. Employees who are willing to head up projects and are eager to make a real difference in the company are excellent candidates to develop into Change Leaders!

  • Use mentors – Form mentor relationships between the developing Change Leader and key executives. This will help them learn what has worked in the past when implementing change, and what hasn’t. Executives can give real world examples of changes that have already been implemented and help them avoid some of the pitfalls.

  • Network your Change Leaders – Having a network of other organizational Change Leaders a developing Change Leader can learn from and turn to is a significant resource. When challenges or questions arise, being able to turn to other Change Leaders for advice or assistance is invaluable.

In the end, by developing Change Leaders in the organization, you can help ensure changes are implemented as effectively and efficiently as possible, keeping you one step ahead of your competition!

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference keynote speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 entertaining programs in 48 states and five countries. She is the author of 10 published audio programs and two books including SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.

 

Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (623)340-7690.

People don’t resist change. They resist being changed!
~Peter Senge

With the turmoil and challenges that can occur during times of change, for organizations, it’s not uncommon for employees to “look for greener pastures.” How do organizations retain their employees during times of change? Following are four ways to keep your employees around for the long haul.

  1. Money - To stave off a mass exodus of key people, some organizations try the age-old strategy of throwing money at the employees they feel that can’t afford to lose. Although money is a significant motivator, especially when tied into the end result of the change, in today’s economic times, it may not be financially feasible for an organization to do this.
  2. Opportunity – For many employees, opportunity to grow and build their career is even more important than a few extra dollars in their paycheck. Tying opportunities, in the form of increased responsibilities and/or promotions, with the successful completion of the change not only helps retain those employees, but also gives them a vested interest in the change’s success.
  3. Development – For those who are not in the position to receive promotions or immediate career advancement opportunities, career development programs, as an incentive to remain with the company, are often effective. Although not a direct advancement, the employee values the education and experience they are receiving via the development program, and they understand it will eventually help advance their career.
  4. Appreciation – It may seem like commonsense that showing people how much they and their efforts are appreciated, especially during times of change, is critical to retaining employees. However, for many business leaders, the day-to-day tasks, coupled with the newly added challenges of change management, mean showing appreciation is too often forgotten. Showing your appreciation won’t just help retain your employees, but it will also motivate them to be even more productive in the future.

Targeting those employees who are critical to retain is an important part of the development of effective retention incentive programs. Don’t simply look at the Top Gun employees. Instead consider which positions are going to be most instrumental in implementing the change and ensuring it gets off on the right foot.

Also, understand that not all employees are alike. For this reason, a “one-size-fits-all” approach likely will not work for everyone. Instead, think about a combination of financial and non-financial incentives tailored to the individual employee for the greatest success!

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference keynote speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 entertaining programs in 48 states and five countries. She is the author of 10 published audio programs and two books including SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.

 

Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (623)340-7690.