8 Tips for Managing Change
Widgets, tweets, social networking, mobile apps, digital distribution formats—the industry seems to be on the upward slope of a mountain of change. Here’s Book Business’ list of tips, compiled from a range of change-management experts and sources, to help you manage some of the changes better. Whether it’s in production processes, marketing, author negotiations, or driving the very direction of your business, these tips can help prepare you to approach change from a better vantage point.
1. “Focus on the individual employee. Change is not only a systematic process in a company, but also a realization that it can affect employees deeply and personally. Leaders must be willing to answer any and all queries honestly, and reward those willing to make a commitment to change. Likewise, leaders must also be able to let go of employees who don’t line up with the company’s new mission to further reinforce its goals.”
2. “Make a solid case for change. Employees will inevitably question things such as the company’s capacity to change, to what extent change is needed and whether they personally want to contribute to those changes. It is the leader’s responsibility to compose a formal plan to prepare for such questions. This plan consists of three parts: confronting reality and acknowledging the need for change, demonstrating faith that the company has a strong future and leadership to get there, and providing specific guidelines to behavior and decision making.”
3. “Create ownership. It is not merely enough for upper management to admit that change is acceptable. They must not only make change happen in all areas they influence, but involve people in identifying problems and creating solutions. Whether it would be financial compensation or camaraderie as a reward for implementing certain changes, employees must become a vital part in the process.”
4. “Take a broad view of change, and think about the impact of changes over one, three and five years. Change is seeing an impact as a ‘big picture’ rather than the fad of a particular month. People involved in change will need to know that change is risky and frightening. Leaders and employees must pay close attention to the changes occurring, and focus on the progress and obstacles of change management. The leaders should not avoid the process. Thus, establishing a structure to support change, such as [a] steering committee or leadership group, often works well.”
Source: Susan M. Heathfield, HumanResources.About.com