You would never build a house without clearing the ground and laying a foundation. Yet that is what can happen when you jump right into implementing a change. Implementing an organizational change without ensuring there is a solid foundation first is like trying to build a house from the second story down.
To have the best chance for success with your changes, like building a house, you need to start with a solid foundation. Here are three actions you can take to build a solid foundation for your change initiatives.
1. Assess what the change means for the people affected
People respond to change differently. Much like different soils determine the type of foundation needed for your house, so do the people affected by the change.
Knowing what the change means for the people affected allows you to create the right type of foundation to support them and enable your organization to reach its goal.
2. Enable skilled, committed leaders and planning at every level of the organization
Every organizational change–whether expected or not–needs leadership and planning. You wouldn’t walk up to a space of empty land and start building–well you might, but the person whose backyard you’re in might not appreciate it.
3. Plan for the ripples
Whether big or small, every change sends ripples through the organization. Renovating the kitchen disrupts the flow of the whole household. Similarly that small accounting update has sent a ripple into your customer service department, and now customers are complaining.
When you plan for the ripples, and approach change more holistically you can increase your organizational change capacity. Organizations with high levels of change capacity move through change easier with less disruption to their operation. They can achieve more, and respond better, while reducing the amount of change the organization must implement to achieve its goals.
Building a strong foundation for the changes your organization needs before you launch sets you up for success. Your organization can become stronger, and healthier because of change and not in spite of it.