Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Change Management- Leadership support

Leadership Is Key in Change Management

Successful change management requires a large commitment from executives and senior managers, whether the change is occurring in a department or in a complete organization. One recent survey respondent said, “a change effort cannot be optional for senior staff. They must lead or get out of the way. The new system will ultimately have to stand on its own feet, but every new system needs support and nurture.”


Senior leaders can do the following for successful change management.
  • Establish a clear vision for the change management process. Paint a picture of where the organization will end up and the anticipated outcomes. Make certain the picture is one of reality and not what people “wish” would occur.

  • Appoint an executive champion who “owns” the change management process and makes certain other senior managers, as well as other appropriate people in the organization, are involved.

  • Pay attention to the changes occurring. Ask how things are going. Focus on progress and barriers for change management. One of the worst possible scenarios is to have the leaders ignore the process.

  • Sponsor portions of the change or the change management process, as an involved participant, to increase active involvement and interaction with other organization members.

  • If personal or managerial actions or behaviors require change for the changes to take hold in the organization, “model” the new behaviors and actions. (Walk the talk.)

  • Establish a structure which will support the change. This may take the form of a Steering Committee, Leadership Group, or Guiding Coalition.

  • Change the measurement, reward, and recognition systems to measure and reward the accomplishment of new expectations.

  • Solicit and act upon feedback from other members of the organization.

  • Recognize the human element in the change. People have different needs and different ways of reacting to change. They need time to deal with and adjust to change.

  • Senior leaders must participate in the training that other organization members attend, but, even more importantly, they must exhibit their “learning” from the sessions, readings, interactions, tapes, books or research.

  • Be honest and worthy of trust. Treat people with the same respect you expect from them.


Reference: Susan Heathfield is a Human Resources expert. She is a management and organization development consultant who specializes in human resources issues and in management development to create forward thinking workplaces. Susan is also a professional facilitator, speaker, trainer, and writer.

1 comment:

SoonerWes said...

In my experience organizing the change and planning it by stages or phases has worked the best for my company. In our corparation we are constantly changing and having a change process in place makes the transition smoother. We have change assessments throughout the change process to identify people who are receptive or unreceptive to the change. Also while presenting a picture of reality, leadership must maintain a positive attitude and quelch the rumor mill across the frontline. All of this in addition to what you have already stated leads to a smooth change.