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6 elements of effective organizational change

By Jackie Cuthbert on May 8, 2018 9:10:06 AM

In our newest guest post, Jackie Cuthbert, founder of JLC Concepts, shares the 6 elements of effective organizational change.

1. Team spirit

No one can implement change on their own. Team sprit is needed: the entire organization needs to commit to change and work hard to implement it. It is particularly important to engage employees who have extensive networks within the company, as well as employees with key skills in terms of change and the company’s future. They are ambassadors of change.

A culture of participation makes people more likely to live the change true.

2. New skills

Leaders are responsible for ensuring that the competencies within the organization meet the company’s changing needs. Companies need to be capable of renewal all the time and managers are taking care that the company is not lacking key skills for the future.

Leaders and their teams should regularly ask themselves whether the teams have the necessary skills to be successful not only today, but also two years from now.

3. Multiple scenarios

Change calls for the ability to envision the future. Change seldom goes as planned, and it should not be forced to comply with oversimplified process charts. Managers must consider various scenarios.

When working as a business executive, I relied on consultants for advice. While change cannot be outsourced, these consultants helped me with difficult decisions. They also challenged the management team. A good consultant has personal experience of implementing change. 

4. Storytelling

Storytelling is the most important aspect of change. The company’s management must be able to clearly communicate how the change will affect the organization: what is going to happen, why change is needed, and how it will affect everyone’s work.

Too often, organizations focus on discussing operating models and forget to communicate about the change. Don’t wait until the process has become clear to everyone, and don’t leave things unexplained, as this will create distrust between managers and employees.

The Howspace digital facilitation platform is an excellent storytelling tool: it encourages all employees to engage in discussions and participate in the change.

5. Guidance

The company’s management is the owner of the change. They are responsible for steering the company through the change and telling the story behind the change. Team spirit cannot be created without leader’s enthusiasm and commitment.

I’m often asked what makes a good change manager. Naturally, this depends on the situation. Is the manager expected to implement a strict cost-saving program? Or are they expected to take the company to international markets? In any case, their most important quality is their management style, rather than technical skills.

6. Heart

Listen to your heart! A leader's strength in implementing change lies in their ability to be practical and emotional at the same time. Fear is an important emotion—without fear, a manager cannot understand employees or be empathetic.


For more expert advice on facilitating complex organizational change, download our free eBook: Top 5 tips & tricks for powerful digital facilitation.

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