Change is inevitable in any organization. In fact, innovative companies such as Apple are particularly great at adaptability. Not only do they make computers, they also make MP3 players, smartphones, tablets, and Apple TV.
Regardless of the type of business you own or work at, there is a good chance you will go through at least four significant marketing changes in 48 months. What does this mean? It means that you have probably gone through some type of re-branding efforts and updated your marketing messages and materials.
In Dave Guerra’s book Superperformance — New Profound Knowledge for Corporate Leaders, he references research indicating that over 70% of change initiatives actually FAIL to achieve desired results in time to make a difference. So why does change fail so often? It is because: 1) Leaders fail to communicate their changes effectively; 2) Leaders do not implement their changes with precision; 3) Their vision of change is rushed and 4) Their vision for change is too “big picture” to work.
Here are 7 ways to ensure change doesn’t fail at your organization from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Atlanta, Georgia:
1. Communicate Your Goals — Communicate your vision of change in a way that inspires everyone.
2. Get Everyone Involved With The Process Of Change — This will allow your staff to work more closely with the change and to feel part of it.
3. Ensure Progress Is Measurable — When you explain your goals, provide metrics in simple terms. For example, “This change aims to increase revenue by 12 percent.”
4. Acknowledge Acceptance Of Change — Individuals and departments who embrace change and conform to new procedures should get special recognition.
5. Offer Coaching And Training — Everyone involved in the change will need some coaching, whether it’s as simple as reassurance for a job well done or guidance on how to do things effectively under the new rules.
6. Encourage Flexibility — As change happens, everyone needs to remain flexible. Recognize this and encourage everyone to remain as flexible as possible.
7. Move Forward — Move forward in formalizing the change. Set an example and make it clear that you expect others to do the same.
The bottom line is most people resist change. The best way to handle change is to implement it with a set of procedures and timelines. As your company experiences changes, take notes on what works and what doesn’t. Do this, and you can improve things the next time changes occur.
Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net/David Castillo Dominici