Too often we attempt to resist change, preferring to stick to our routines, habits and traditional ways of doing business. We do so knowing that change is inevitable and can have positive outcomes. Not only is change inevitable, it’s necessary to stay ahead of the competition. Once recognized and welcomed, change can open the door to countless benefits.
1. Know the purpose. When welcoming change, it’s important that the change is necessary and well documented. What results are you currently unsatisfied with? What processes are you unhappy with? What end goal do you have in mind? What are you hoping to achieve by making this change? Before moving forward with a change, it’s imperative you have a clear vision. Going one step further, it’s beneficial to share your vision with others and get decision makers on the same page prior to sharing it with the rest of your team. Once you’ve secured your vision and gathered a strong backing, you can progress with planning.
2. Create structure. Change can at times feel chaotic, but that chaos can be managed with structure. When bringing about change, unknowns will appear constantly, but they shouldn’t deter you from moving forward as long as you stay on course with your purpose. When things inevitably don’t go as planned, instead of shutting down, take a few moments to regroup, reevaluate and get your team re-focused. By setting manageable goals to help guide you through the process, you’ll be able to see visible progress when obstacles are thrown your way.
3. Overcome obstacles. Whether internal or external, when early challenges arise, don’t shy away. Instead, face those obstacles head-on. Rather than ignoring challenges and avoiding dealing with them, hold yourself and your team accountable to overcoming those difficulties. Focus on being solution-oriented. Actively seek out ways to help you see your vision through, and always focus on the end goal.
4. Communicate with your team. Communication with others is paramount. It allows you to share ideas, provide updates and offer and receive honest feedback. By getting stakeholders involved in various roles you can more easily move your project ahead. It’s important to recognize that you’re not alone when it comes to change. The people around you are impacted as well, and talking through concerns and presenting facts to others can help you realize the benefits that the change is bringing about.
5. Evaluate results. It’s important to set key performance indicators and measure them frequently. Once change is implemented, revisit your KPIs regularly, analyze the good and the bad and adjust accordingly. By documenting and reporting outcomes, you’ll be able to accurately measure whether a change is working. You can refer to past results, analyze current outcomes and better plan for moving forward with your purpose.