This is the fifth article in our leadership consulting series of articles that looks at creating transformative change in your organization. The full series will be available for download as a white paper once it is completed.

In our last article, we discussed critical moments of truth that allow for transformation. Now let’s discuss how to lead change in your organization.

How to Lead Change in Your Organization

When consulting leaders in various companies over the years, a common piece of advice that I discuss with leaders is that leading change is a process. It starts with leaders having a personal change realization, understanding that change is necessary, creating a leadership team to assist with developing the implementation plan and managing adoption.

Phases of Leading Change

Once you identify the need for change, leaders need to develop a concrete plan that frames the importance of change through each phase.

At its core, there are three main phases of leading change that you need to work through to achieve a desired organizational culture:

  1. Leaders need to first identify the needs for change
  2. Lead the organization through the transition period
  3. Reinforce and sustain change once it is implemented

As outlined in Essential Elements When Framing Organizational Change, implementing change begins with the current state of the organization, and then also needs to be managed during the transition and future state of the organization. Therefore, it is essential that you develop a change management plan to help guide them through the process of change.

How to Create a Change Management Plan

A change management plan creates a structure and strategy for a leader’s vision of change to achieve their desired outcome. It also ensures that the transition is intentional and doesn’t leave out critical steps or elements in achieving lasting change.

Here is what needs to be included in a change management plan:

Service Mandate

  • What are your Core Values, Vision, Mission?
  • Who the organization is; why it exists, what it wants to be, and how it wants to be viewed?
  • Why change? What needs to be changed? What will change achieve? How is change beneficial for team members?

Service Principles

  • How will you translate your service mandate into actionable elements?
  • How will you define the essential service qualities that determine behaviours and processes?
  • What service promises will be made to customer/clients on behalf of the organization?

Process Reengineering

  • What inefficiencies currently exist? What internal processes need to be changed? Why?
  • Who will lead process reengineering?
  • What internal and external tools and processes with be used?

Service Standards & Accountability

  • Channel specific measures that operationalize the values and service principles
  • How will people be held accountable?
  • What metrics (financial and non-financial) will be used to quantify and manage performance — business measureables versus coaching measureables?

Training and Coaching

  • What type of training is needed? How often? What will be included in the materials?
  • Who is responsible for training?
  • How is coaching built into the daily activities of the organization?
  • How are your coaching measureables built into the plan?
  • Who receives training or coaching?

Change Management

  • How is change going to be managed? How will change be assessed and analyzed?
  • How will people be held accountable?
  • How will resistance be handled?
  • Timeline for change. What are the milestones?

Communications Strategy and Recognition

  • How will change be communicated? (i.e., town hall meeting, training, organization newsletter, meetings?)
  • Who is going to communicate the change?
  • Who is responsible for the message?
  • Is there commitment to solicit input and feedback on continuous improvement?

Send me an email if you would like a copy of my Organizational Transformation Framework to help you identify which areas of your organization could benefit from some attention.

Understanding the phases of change and having a change management plan provides leaders with a solid foundation for how to lead change. Including these core elements in your change management plan will help guide leaders through the phases of change to create real change that will stick and be adopted by your team members.

The next article in our leadership consulting series will examine how to continue the cycle of strong leadership and developing the skills of future leaders. 

DOWNLOAD ARTICLE: Building Your Change Management Plan