4 Steps to Successfully Leading Change

Wendy Togami Shares Her Expertise

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wendy Togami recently conducted a professional development session at JBU entitled, “Managing Change at Work.” Wendy is no stranger to leading change; she has over 15 years of experience in leadership development at The Soderquist Center and eight years of student leadership development at Taylor University. According to Wendy, there are four steps to successfully leading change in the workplace...

It’s happened. You’ve been “awarded” the responsibility of implementing a change. The accountants need to use a different computer system. The deadline for the R&D department’s huge project has been moved up. The sales staff are adjusting to a new commission structure. Whether the change is critical to your organization’s success or just a new way of doing things, these four steps will help you manage it successfully:4 steps to successfully manage change in the workplace

  • Communicate what is NOT changing. Change creates a feeling of uncertainty within an organization. People affected by change want to know that they will still have an important role. According to Wendy, “when a person’s significance and security is threatened, he or she will react emotionally instead of logically.” Explain to your team that, although their roles and/or methods may have changed, they are still important to the success of the organization. Communicating the things that are staying the same will also create a familiar reference point for those who are anxious about the change.
  • Translate the change. What does this mean for me, and why is this change happening? How will it benefit us? How do we implement this change? Wendy says these are the things that most concern those affected by change. Communicate the plan: how to execute the change, what resources are available to them, and a timeline for implementing the change. Explain how the change benefits the organization as a whole and them specifically. Help them understand that there will be challenges in the transition period, but the end result will be well worth any frustrations they encounter. It’s also important for you to explain the consequences of NOT changing; this will provide further motivation to change.
  • Model the change. As a change leader, it is your responsibility to show others how to implement the change. Others will be watching how you react to challenges in the transitional period and whether you’re reinforcing the standards you set for them. By modeling the change, Wendy says that your actions will show others that the change is possible and beneficial.
  • Reinforce the change. It’s easy for people to fall back into old, familiar habits. Remind your team frequently of the reasons for and benefits of the change. Support and encourage them through the change and reinforce good habits. Listen to their feedback and concerns, taking action where needed. Wendy emphasizes how important it is to celebrate the milestones and to frequently paint a picture of the end result. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how to overcome challenges like this in your organization, consider earning your master’s degree from John Brown University’s Graduate Business Program. For more information, contact us.

Blog HomePosted By: Jessica Turner - 12/14/16 1:00 PM

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