Change, particularly in business, tends to concern people, particularly if that change is coming during a period of company growth. In rapid growing times, many employees will assume the worst and when they do, how their concerns are handled can help stabilize the growth period or in the worst of scenarios, throw the company into chaos. If your business growth strategy consultants are planning major changes to how you do business, you need to make sure they address the following.
Communicate Early and Often
Most conflicts, business, personally, in virtually all of life, come down to lack of communication or poor communication. Often, when there is major resistance to change, the communication issue is a lack of defining the process or goals of the change. That lack of information allows people’s imaginations to wander. To address that, very clear and frequent communications are needed throughout the company from internal management and business growth strategy consultants to the rest of the company’s employees.
Define the Change Clearly
Poorly defined change creates worry, no matter who you are. If, for example, your boss started shuffling everyone’s office or cubicle, with no explanation, rumors would run wild. Change must be very clearly explained and the impact on individuals, divisions, programs and projects has to be mapped out very early in the process. Even if that change is “bad news” for some departments or employees, preparing employees for the upcoming change, including giving them an honest assessment of their future with the company, needs to be made clear or you and your business growth consultant will be battling rumors and possibly ill will throughout.
Management Buy-In, or at Least Cooperation, is Key
Change freaks people out. In a company experiencing growth, that freak out can lead to resistance, conflict and even sabotage. That makes management buy-in, critical. Unfortunately, even some in management may disagree in regards to the scope and method of the change. When that is the case, the change agents have to secure the cooperation of skeptical management, if not their support. Those change agents should remember that absolute solidarity is not necessary, but “do no harm” has to exist at a minimum.
Pick Your Leaders and Push Them
No plan or strategy can work if you have people in leadership positions who cannot measure up to the demands of the change processes and management challenges. As the foundation of the change management strategy is being developed, leaders throughout the affected portion of the company need to be identified, their support secured and then they need to be trained in how to successfully make the changes planned
Change, in virtually all its forms, can be disconcerting and that leads to opposition. Careful management of the change implementation by management and business growth strategy consultants can avoid a lot of the problems caused by that opposition. The key, in all change management techniques, is proper, clear and concise communication.