Managing Organizational Change is No Easy Day at The Beach
I know it may sound strange, but whenever I deliver a motivational keynote speech on managing change, I easily recall my youth and the days we spent on the beach. Managing change is a great deal like negotiating the ocean. The tides change, in or out, if you’re not careful strong waves can knock you down, and sometimes the best strategy is to negotiate with the ocean; giving in to rip-tides, swimming parallel to the beach instead of into the shore, and always respecting – never underestimating – that its changes may come quickly.
The website LiquidPlanner.com published an excellent article in January 2018 entitled “Why is Organizational Change So Hard?” I would like to point to just one important aspect the writer makes on managing change: “When organizational change goes wrong it’s often because it’s being treated purely as an implementation of a new process. The manager uses a logical approach to deal with the practical elements of the change, but ignores the emotional side of the equation.”
Change Management Keynote Speaker Mike Hourigan holds keynote speeches on the following topics:
- Change Management Keynote Speaker
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Change Units That Knock Us Down
When a team, department or an entire organization is confronted with a change management challenge, the speed with which various tasks come at people can be daunting. The management team may have a certain set of steps and implementation dates in mind to meet the expected deadlines toward the completion of goals but are they realistic?
I call each step in a change management plan a “change unit.” However, if the human side of the equation isn’t addressed early on, one change unit after the other will have the same effect as huge waves crashing in on swimmers as they attempt to leave the water.
Not surprising, each time an implementation date appears, there can be (if organizations are not careful) a lot of finger pointing, blame and unmet deadlines. Why does this happen? Because change brings angst and the process is frightening.
A large part of the change management problem is communication. How well are you communicating what needs to be done? Is everyone on board that it’s possible?
Business communications expert Paul Petrone writing for LinkedIn’s learning blog (June 2017) stated, “Not only should you expect a negative reaction when announcing change, you should welcome it. It’s better to get employees’ concerns out as quickly as possible, so you can consider them.”
Considering legitimate change management concerns well ahead of time not only helps navigate through the potentially rough seas of change, but it engages and permits staff to take an active role in the process. Though it is not emphasized enough, this percolation process where valued employees have the chance to talk about it/think about it is very valuable is the anticipation of things to come.
Yet, far too often, leaders will announce the changes the organization expects and no matter the question, they will answer it in a pre-prepared or pre-rehearsed script form. If the executive team is closed to possibilities other than what was initially anticipated as part of the change management plan, the message is that any staff concerns, complaints or suggestions for streamlining the process are being disregarded. This leads to employees working apart instead of rowing together in the boat.
Managing all the aspects of change is never an easy day at the beach, but knowing ahead of time if the forecast is a hurricane with driving rain or sunshine with calm breezes certainly helps.
Mike Hourigan, Change Management Keynote Speaker. For more information about hiring Mike Hourigan for your next sales meeting, call today at: (704) 875-3030 or by fill out the form below.