Let’s chat a little about change. We’re the last ones in the game to tell you that change isn’t scary. Even the most stoic and heroic of leaders have experienced cold sweats, indecision, and analysis paralysis. Trust us on that one.
Change is a fact of life and rolling with it — rather than fighting it — can potentially bring in a wave of transformative situations, people, and circumstances that your fear-induced brain could never have conjured up. That would be really nice, wouldn’t it? At Envisio, we know that change is actually a good thing, especially when it comes to shedding stagnant elements of your business strategy that just don’t fit anymore. Or, perhaps the change on the horizon is frantically signalling to you to bring that plan of yours to life, redirect resources to more lucrative ventures, and get your employees on board for the ride.
Innovation and effective change management strategies are the keys to remaining relevant and contemporary in a business world that continues to evolve, with or without you.
Embracing change management strategies
For whatever reason, organizational change seems to stimulate the fight-or-flight response in most of us. But, neither response serves any real purpose. Change isn’t an opponent to engage or a danger to avoid. Change is an opportunity that should be embraced and explored. But, how do you take the necessary steps to sell strategic change on a larger scale to your staff, stakeholders, board, and council?
We’ve put together 5 change management strategies to help you sell innovation and organizational change:
1. Recognize and embrace the need for change
It should go without saying, but awareness is essential in business. Recognizing the need for change is square one. Gathering your resources, employing the right tools, and putting a proactive change management strategy in place is second. Ensuring you’re always fully aware of the business landscape means you’re in a great position to anticipate and prepare for all the possible outcomes of your newly implemented strategies.
2. Work on your timing
Timing is everything in business, whether you’re talking about your marketing message, change management strategy, or that joke you’re planning to try out at the next team meeting. But, it’s especially important in executing effective change management strategies, because organizational change relies so heavily on momentum.
Selling change without making waves requires a delicate hand. Move too fast, and you’ll tip the boat before it’s even in the water. Go too slow and you’ll never get the ball rolling. But, time things just right and the momentum builds, creating a company-wide snowball effect, as one department after the next buys into your vision and plans for implementation.
3. Know what you’re doing
There’s no point in trying to force change management strategies on the company culture if you don’t really know how to execute them. Sure, there’s always going to be doubt and a chance of a mistake or two, but if you don’t appear competent and capable, no one is going to buy into what you’re selling. You have to believe in yourself and your plan before anyone else will take the leap.
Effective change management strategies also require a bit of political savvy. Remember, you have to effectively communicate and sell innovation and organizational change to everyone from the intern pool on up to the top-shelf executives. That requires finesse.
Do yourself a favor and consult with organizational leaders at every level. Show them that you’re competent, get them to buy into your change management strategies, and they’ll help you sell the cause to their departments.
4. Get the eye of the tiger
Selling organizational change isn’t easy. It requires passion. But, wanting it is only half the battle. You also need the determination and drive to succeed. Remember, change triggers the fight-or-flight response, so you have to be ready to battle for the cause and chase down anyone who attempts to go AWOL (figuratively, of course, at least we hope).
Smart delegation is essential and often necessary, but sometimes the best way to sell organizational change is to jump in the mud and get your hands dirty. Showing your passion and willingness to get personally involved earns the respect of your colleagues. It also helps them buy into your change strategies and inspires them to put their noses to grindstone, too. The eye of the tiger can be contagious.
5. Stay tough
In addition to passion and drive, you’re going to need a thick skin. There will always be bumps along the path to organizational change and success. Some will be anticipated, some unexpected, and some due directly to the stubbornness of those who just aren’t willing to buy into what you’re selling. Don’t let it get you down. Be ready to fight and fight hard. Show them what you’re made of, and show them you’re a leader capable of enacting effective organizational change strategies – a leader they’ll want to follow.
Are you prepared to sell innovation and effective organizational change management strategies to your colleagues? Start planning and equip yourself with all the knowledge, tools, and resources you need to succeed with our free strategic planning template. Need more information on how Envisio can help you implement your strategies, monitor your plan’s progress, and generate reports on that progress? Then schedule a time to talk strategy with one of our strategy implementation software experts.