Most change management experts see their job as helping organizations change and improve. Companies that change fast can survive, but companies that embrace transformation thrive. What’s the difference?
Change management is the process by which organizations improve by implementing well-defined, usually finite, initiatives that cut across multiple divisions and teams throughout the organization. Transformation addresses all dimensions and divisions, and executes a well-defined shift in how all of the organizations’ processes work.
Companies that transform themselves and don’t shy away from major changes when they’re necessary succeed and thrive. They’re constantly concerned with their long-term vision and strategy for the future and they use this vision to grow with their growing and changing industry, no matter what it is.
Transformation is a series of change management initiatives designed to prepare an organization for changes and shifts coming in their industry.
Turning Short-Term Change Management into Long-Term Transformation
Change, just like change management, often sends chills down the spine of any employee. We don’t like our routines disturbed. We like to know our job is stable and that we’re working toward something.
If change is simply managed when it becomes necessary, your company can’t adequately prepare for the future. The answer to turning change management into meaningful transformation is to start with one thing at a time.
Create a Business Case for Immediate Changes
You can cut a trail for transformational change by identifying internal and external reasons for why change is needed right now. Operational efficiency, competitiveness, industry shifts, and other factors constantly demand change. By laying the groundwork for improving operations, customer relations, etc., you can set up your organization for meaningful, transformational change.
Create a Systematic Communication System
Once you have the reasons for change and how you’re going to implement them, it’s time to start spreading the word about the changes. The most effective way to do this is to systematically communicate the changes. Create a structured communication schedule that shares the right information with the right people at the right time. You’ll be able to use this system for change management in a constant, fluid way.
Get Employees Involved from the Beginning
Employee engagement is the key to success for any transition plan. When employees become involved, and more importantly, when they buy in and feel involved in change management, they are much more likely to respond in positive ways and help the transformation process along.
The process of engaging employees and getting them involved in your next change management project is crucial to overall success. Employee training must be done well enough in advance so everyone is on the same page when the changes become the new law of the land. Employees must have a voice in the proceedings and participate in the process.
Company leaders can turn their change management systems into long-term solutions that feed beneficial transformational initiatives. Change is the only constant in business, and in life. Rather than put everyone through the fits and starts of rushed, rapid change, create a pathway for transformational change.