Time to change: handling Change Management in your company

Change Management is necessary in companies, specially those ones not matures in their businesses. But change management is very difficult, even in companies that growth. understand and reduce Resistance to change is the key factor for success of a company, specially nowadays where products have shorter life cycles than ever. (one can also find individual Resistance and collective one, approach of course must be different)

But why do people resist to change? There are basically three attitudes towards change, some people do not know how to change, some cannot change and the worst are the ones that do not want to change. The first ones, the “unknown” will react quickly to changes by teaching and motivation. The second ones need more motivation and even confrontation. And by confrontation I mean direct questioning on why things are done that way (they need more time and understanding the change). Finally the third ones, they need all explained before plus probably an escalation. (Negatives attitudes should not be permitted in companies).

Imagine you are hired in your company to create or improve your department. How would you deal with change Management?. My recommendation is always start learning from a company. Take your time, one cannot change just because one has learnt different in other company. There first months require a lot of open-minded. Never question for a start the way your new company/procedure makes things. Always remember that to train and motivate people you need to show knowledge of their work. And also that maybe this company performs better the activities.

Once knowledge is acquired, there is an internal work of comparison between learnt knowledge and current knowledge,  and how it is in explained/translated into procedures. This is very difficult and a key important moment. One needs to sit down and think, what is different from ideal, what is acceptable, what should change immediate and what will need more time and smooth, how to change (one step, different step), the required resources and the most important its feasibility (always come back to the Rome wasn’t build in a day)

I recommend to make changes smooth, but sometimes things are white and all automotive do it in white, therefore let us start in white and if they need to go to grey in the company they will (here be careful what you choose to implement “mandatory”/ “no discussion”. But try to avoid impositions in change. To your colleagues to your managers, to your department… always explain them what you want to do, why and make them understand the advantages. Because if you do want to change anything there must be always an advantage behind, an improvement, a positive result. Try to spend some time making your people understand it.

One of the most interesting ways of change management is the “learning by doing”or “lessons learnt”. This needs also a training in an organisation, a positive attitude towards learning, and overall sharing this learning to the others. In lessons learnt is important the standardisation and the quick reaction to the lesson, to say, find where to apply that lesson. That requires a bit of innovation and continuous improvement thinking. Mature organisations allow themselves to learn by motivation their employee to share easily and apply for future projects the lessons learnt.

I recommend always to test. Try to see small changes how your organisation is reacting, before implement your “black gold” procedures that will help you to succeed in change management. Some companies react very negative to changes, so you need more patience (and this is necessary, patience is necessary). Patience to explain better. Finally in this small steps, remember always one step back two steps forward, to say, what Napoleon always said: “To win the war sometimes one needs to loose a small battle”. Be ready to give in sometimes.

But the most important thing if one wants to become a change manager, leading the changes is attitude. Have a clear vision of where you started, where you are now and where you want to go in the future…. and patience and good things come for those who wait. And the most important thing: Nothing is impossible in life.

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