How to Navigate Organisational Change

In today’s more volatile, complex and unpredictable business environment, it is more important than ever that we are equipped with the knowledge and tools to be able to adapt and transform business operations to become more effective and profitable.

If organisations are to remain competitive in their field, they need to assess their leadership mindsets and behaviours, ensure open communication, engage with employees about change, encourage feedback and to ultimately tap into the collective contributions of people around them to find something magical.

But, how do you navigate organisational change?

Building the change culture

Culture is the single most important enabler for change management strategies when leveraged properly.

Organisations need to be able to anticipate change, have a culture already established that embraces the change and be well-prepared and have the discipline to follow-through.

Emotional literacy is a key part of an organisation.  Creating an environment where people can speak openly about issues in the knowledge that they will be recognised and rewarded for ideas increases velocity and performance.

It’s all about trust

The foundation of any high-performance team is trust.

People want to know what is happening and why, and how it will affect them.

Transparency within your team about changes that will impact them will create an open environment where people feel safe being able to speak up, speak their truth and unearth issues that are preventing the team from moving forward together.

Constantly communicate what you are intending to do, even if it’s not favourably (you don’t need to share everything).

Build a heightened level of trust in your team by providing them with regular updates on changes taking place.

Remember, a culture based on trust is essentially ready for anything!!

It’s all in the mind(set)

Leadership mindset can dictate the success or failure of an organisation.  If leaders don’t have the mindset to support the principles of change, this will impact the organisations ability to deal with any kind of transformation which could make or break any planned changes.

There is a misconception that leaders driving significant change must be bold in nature, give inspirational speeches and take wild leaps at greatness. That is simply not true.  Global changes mean that there is no longer a place for lack of humility.  Organisations need to consider their own people first and drive performance with an emphatic approach.

Communicating change

Change is really about psychology, there will be groups of people within an organisation who will embrace the changes willingly, whilst others may need encouragement and reassurance. Leaders need to be mindful and educated about the people on this spectrum and how to communicate with them.

This can be heavily supported by the organisations structure, build things into the organisation that support the values that you are trying to use to drive change, far too often, executives underestimate the importance of communications.

The backbone of any organisational change communication reduces uncertainty and guides a business through the transition. It must be clear, concise, and consistent from the start to the end of the process. 

A great way to communicate to large numbers is to create a collaborative multi-disciplinary space with where employees can share their ideas about proposed changes from their individual perspective. Such involvement creates commitment and a sense of working together towards a common goal.

Encourage feedback, good and bad.  Learn from mistakes, make the plan better. Find out what works and what does not. The communication phase is also the perfect opportunity to reinforce the roles assigned to ensure you have team members who are accountable, responsible, and informed on all parts of the mission plan.