Three Key Ways to Help Navigate Change

Business owners and their teams often fear change.

Change can be a shock to the system in the way it disrupts processes, displaces people and shakes up comfortable structures.

As you navigate an era of unprecedented technological and social upheaval, you need to make confident decisions to see your business successfully through to the other side.

Not all change will be immense, but any kind of change, big or small, will affect your business and your people.

For instance, your business may be making strategic adjustments to accommodate the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This leads to question such as:

●        How will you review performance this year?

●        How will you structure working arrangements moving forward?

●        How will you manage productivity on a day-to-day basis?

Or perhaps you’re facing more structural challenges?

Maybe you are transitioning your business to the cloud?

Or you could be managing a departmental restructure.

No matter the size and scope of change, we have identified some simple starting points that will reduce pain and positively impact your return on investment.

1. Maintain perspective and flexibility with a growth mindset

The most frightening thing about change is the unknown. The risk. The lack of control.

But fear clouds your ability to make sound decisions, which you will need to do to lead your people confidently.

Accepting that you cannot control everything allows you to control how you approach change. You won’t make reactive, fretful choices or feel you’re in an uncomfortable position with little leeway.

You will also recognise that change is fundamental for growth.

By adopting a growth mindset and remaining flexible, your perspective will shift from one hampered by the fear of the risk that comes with change to one bursting with possibility.

Start by focusing on what you can control. This may be as simple as looking at the small ways you can make change easier for yourself, your organisation and your people.

And by starting with what you can control, you will gain confidence and momentum from the start.

2. Communication is key

People intrinsically react differently to change. Some advocate the status quo and may resist foundational shake-ups. Others seek new possibilities by challenging existing structures. And others again are more pragmatic, seeing merit in both conservative and progressive perspectives – so long as the business case is loud and clear.

Your people are the driving force behind your business, so it is imperative to have them aligned to your vision.

Communicating early is the key. Be simple, clear and be sure to accommodate a variety of communication styles. Some of your people may prefer a more direct communication style, others may appreciate a softer, more visual approach.

One approach is to highlight the benefits and impacts your people will experience from the change. How will their day-to-day work-life shift? Why is the change being implemented? When will it occur?

Clear, comprehensive and consistent communications will keep your people calm and confident about the process.

Finally, ensure you have an inclusive and collaborative environment. Allow them to respond, ask questions and know their voice is being heard. Foster a sense of responsibility, bringing everyone along with you, aligned with the strategy.

3. Break it down to build your vision

Change can overwhelm, but there is no reason to get caught up in the magnitude of the process.

Work out what you want to achieve. Plot out the timeline: When will change start? When do you anticipate it will end? What will you do if something goes wrong?

Next, identify steps you can take that will bring you closer to your vision. Break down tasks into realistic chunks. To keep sight of the big picture, stay focused on these smaller tasks.

By doing this, your vision will always be just within arm’s length, rather than way out of reach.

Final thoughts

This year has seen business owners and their teams manage unprecedented change. The strategies listed above are helpful starting points to craft your change management strategy.

But translating ideas into action can often be daunting.

What challenges are you facing?

What are your strengths and limitations when it comes to change?

Get in touch with us and let us know – we’d love to help see your business through to the other side.