Leading Successful Change

Change is constant. It is what gives an organization the edge ... change keeps an organization in business . . . change is profitable. However, change and transition distresses people and disrupts business operations. Perhaps it will be a strategic reorganization, an acquisition, a new product or service, perhaps a downsizing or merger. Whatever the change, people will be plunged into transition.

Managing transition requires specific techniques for disengaging people from the old ways of doing things, providing them support to get them through the in-between time, and helping them adapt to the new ways that the change demands. And these things must all happen fast.

Even the most advantageous change will be compromised if morale plummets, productivity collapses, or key personnel jump ship. Transition management is essential.

Changes from Outside
This shift is taking place because of changes in the organization's environment. These include:

  • Rapidly changing market conditions
  • Constantly developing technologies
  • New government regulations
  • An increasingly diverse work-force
  • Quick shifts in customer needs and expectations

Inside the Organization
To respond to these external changes, organizations are likely to be making changes of their own. These may include some of the following:

  • Acquiring or being acquired
  • Downsizing by layoff, attrition, or early retirement
  • Automating work processes
  • Cutting budgets
  • Setting up customer service programs and quality improvement efforts
  • Relocating teams, departments, divisions or even the whole organization
  • Flattening the organization's structure and decentralizing decision-making
  • Abandoning the traditional functional organization in favor of strategic business units
  • Setting up cross-trained and self-managed teams
  • Changing compensation and reward systems

The Upside and the Downside

While many of these changes are potentially beneficial to the organization, they can also cause a great deal of disruption and distress. Most of them are planned with much more attention to the finances, the strategy, and the technology than to the people who have to make them work. Without careful management, the damage they do to the morale and productivity of the organization's people can outweigh the benefits of those changes.

Whatever changes a company faces, these techniques will help minimize distress and disruption. They will help restore productivity after the changes have taken place, minimize the loss of key personnel, and take advantage of new opportunities more quickly.

This program will enable participants to:

  • Understand the critical difference between managing change and managing transition
  • Identify where people are in the three-phase transition process
  • Create and implement effective strategies to manage
    • The endings
    • The neutral zone
    • The beginnings

A practical outcome of the program will be a plan for managing the transitions of an actual, current change.

Topics Covered

  • What transition management is and why it is important
  • Assessing the organization's transition readiness
  • Managing endings
  • Communicating in the neutral zone and using the time creatively
  • Facilitating the new beginning
  • Individualized action plan

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"Change is the process by which the future invades our lives." Alvin Toffler