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4 Steps for Successful Organizational Change Cheat Sheet by

change     steps     organizational

Introd­uction

As global­iza­tion, economics and technology continue to transform the business enviro­nment, organi­zations will lean on their leaders, especially in HR, to drive and manage successful change. According to SHRM, one-third of HR profes­sionals consider managing change and cultural transf­orm­ation a critical priority.

However, many are still unsure about the best ways to execute in this role of “Change Agent,” which requires balancing different priorities and different audiences. Here are 4 steps to help your organi­zation create successful organi­zat­ional change:

Assess readiness

Assessing organi­zat­ional and employee readiness for change requires a keen unders­tanding of the workfo­rce’s knowledge, skills, abilities and behaviors. This will help inform strategic workforce planning decisions and enable leaders to anticipate potential obstacles to a successful implem­ent­ation.

Questions to consider:
How does our leadership model fit with the change?
What aspects of our culture will help support the change or what will hinder it?
What are the behavioral and skill fits/gaps in our current workforce?

Lay the groundwork

At the core of any successful change initiative is a strong partne­rship between HR and senior leader­ship. Working together, this coalition can identify and prepare the change management resources to establish and commun­icate a clear vision, manage culture shift, conduct strategic workforce planning and reduce interp­ersonal conflict. When this stage of the change process is well executed, it yields a robust roadmap all stakeh­olders can understand and follow.

Questions to consider:
Do our people understand how their roles will (not) change in the new enviro­nment?
Is our commun­ication strategy aligned with our employees’ behavioral styles and needs?
What will the new structure look like and who do we need in the new structure?
How will success be measured and leveraged?
 

4 Steps

Implement and adapt

HR must approach implem­ent­ation with a structured and systematic method. This may mean rolling out aspects of a change initiative in stages and evaluating the process with each step. Correcting direction is an ongoing and important part of implem­enting change, and HR must be willing to embrace this approach if adjust­ments are necessary.

Questions to consider:
How will success at each stage be measured and leveraged?
Do we have contin­gency plans for each stage in case adjust­ments need to be made?
What else could compete with this change initiative that requires resources (time, $$, people, space, techno­logy, etc.)?
Is this program still offering us a compet­itive advantage?

Sustain momentum

Many of the steps highli­ghted in the planning and implem­ent­ation stages — unders­tanding your workforce, reducing resistance and commun­icating effect­ively – should be mirrored in sustaining a change. HR profes­sionals are tasked with helping the change initiative become a corporate norm, so it is seen as part of the culture and business model, rather than a fad. To achieve this, Hr must keep other change agents invigo­rated (to avoid burnout) and continue to partner with leadership to reinforce the new agenda and prevent old habits from reemer­ging.

Questions to consider:
What is the mechanism by which we can encourage and collect employee feedback and ideas?
What progra­ms/­plans can we introduce to help instit­uti­onalize the change over time?
Which additional employees can we leverage as change agents?

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