The Journey to Change – Lifting Off

The Journey to Change Written by Liezl Schulte Article 2 of 4 on our Change Management methodology. In our previous article, The Journey to Change – Preparing for Lift-Off, we discussed the initial steps in the journey to change, focusing on the comprehensive analysis and preparation required for a successful transition. As we move forward, we enter the engagement phase—a crucial period where the organisation starts implementing its change plans. Understanding Employee Emotions During this engagement phase, it’s vital to acknowledge employees’ emotional journey. As they move from unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence, employees become aware of the gaps in their knowledge and skills. This realisation can evoke a range of emotions, including uncertainty. For stakeholders driving the change, this phase is about active engagement. However, for those experiencing the change, it is often perceived as a phase of doubt. Employees may initially encounter fear as they face the unknown, followed by anger as they grapple with the disruption of their routines. This can lead to resistance, where individuals may struggle against the change. It’s only after navigating through these challenging emotions that acceptance and, eventually, openness to the new way of working can emerge. The primary objective in this phase is to minimise the depth and duration of this disruption. By doing so, organisations can ensure a smoother and more effective transition. Planning the Change & Managing Change In the engagement phase, the plans developed during the preparation phase are put into action. Key activities include: Stakeholder Management (Sponsorship): Effective stakeholder management involves ensuring that sponsors and key stakeholders are actively engaged and supportive of the change. This support is crucial for building momentum and maintaining commitment throughout the organisation. Coaching: Empowering executives and line managers to lead the change is essential. Through coaching, these leaders are equipped with the tools and knowledge to communicate effectively, guide their teams, and provide the necessary support during the transition. Crafting and Delivering Communications: Clear and consistent communication is vital during this phase. Crafting messages that resonate with various stakeholders and delivering them effectively helps address concerns, reduce uncertainty, and build trust. Engaging with Internal Change Agent Network (CAN): Leveraging a network of change agents within the organisation can significantly enhance the change process. These individuals act as advocates for the change, providing insights, addressing issues, and facilitating communication between different levels of the organisation. Training & Support: Comprehensive training programmes are implemented to equip employees with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their new roles. Providing ongoing support through workshops, e-learning modules, and hands-on training ensures that employees feel confident and capable during the transition. Resistance Management: Identifying and addressing resistance is a critical component of the engagement phase. By understanding the root causes of resistance and implementing strategies to mitigate it, organisations can encourage a more positive attitude towards the change. Conclusion As the engagement phase progresses, continuous monitoring and adaptation are essential to ensure the change initiatives remain on track. Organisations can reduce the depth and time of disruption by effectively managing stakeholder involvement, providing robust training and support, and proactively addressing resistance. With the engagement phase complete, the organisation is well-prepared for the targeted upskilling phase, setting the stage for a successful go-live. In our next article, we will delve into this phase, exploring the strategies that prepare your organisation for the final stages of the change journey. Navigating organisational change can be challenging, but it can be managed effectively with the right support. With over 30 years of experience in change management, Can!do Consulting offers the expertise needed to guide your organisation through this process. Our proven methodologies and tailored approach ensure that your specific needs are addressed, facilitating a smooth and successful transition. Partner with us to leverage our experience and help your organisation adapt and thrive. Contact Can!do Consulting today to learn more about our change management services. Contact Us