For a change to stick, leaders need to properly prepare and guide their organizations through the process – and remain champions for the change.
The Harvard Business School sums up the change management process into five steps.
- Prepare: Explain why change is necessary.
- Plan/vision: Detail how and when the change will happen – from goals to how it will be measured to who is responsible for what steps.
- Implement: Empower employees to take the steps needed to achieve the goals.
- Embed: Prevent backslide by ensuring organizational structures and practices support the change.
- Review: Analyze whether the change was successful or what aspects weren’t successful.
Overcoming Resistance to Change
The American Society for Quality offers advice for how leaders can minimize resistance to change.
- Create, or affirm, the shared need for change through data or demonstration/demand.
- Share what the desired outcome will look like.
- Ensure there are sufficient resources dedicated to the change process.
- Establish a way to track progress in the change efforts.
- Assign a person or team to being accountable for finishing the change.
- Champion the effort from the beginning until the end.