How to Make Organizational Change Less Painful – Podcast Episode 36

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Episode Description

In this edition of the Memory Makers Podcast, Russ Van Natta and Danny Gruening dive into the critical topic of how to make organizational change less painful. Learn why 50% of changes fail and how you can beat the odds by crafting a solid framework. From adaptive changes to transformational shifts, Danny and Russ guide you through the critical steps to crafting the “Why”, defining the “How”, overcoming resistance, ensuring sustainability, and conducting post-change reviews.

Key Takeaways

  1. Understanding Change Management: Change is inevitable in business, and leaders must understand how to manage it effectively. Whether it’s adaptive changes, small and gradual, or transformational changes, dramatic shifts from the status quo, recognizing and navigating these types is crucial.
  2. Crafting the “Why” and “How”: Start by clearly articulating the purpose behind the change (“why”) and defining the strategic goals and implementation plans (“how”). Without a compelling “why,” teams may struggle to embrace change fully.
  3. Over-Communication is Key: Ensure that the vision and rationale behind the change are communicated repeatedly through various channels to all team members. Repetition helps employees fully absorb and internalize the purpose, fostering buy-in and understanding.
  4. Monitoring and Accountability: Implement systems to monitor progress and hold team members accountable for their roles in the change process. Real-time feedback and adjustments are essential to address obstacles and keep the change initiative on track.
  5. Sustainability and Review: The last 20% of a change project is critical for sustainability. Ensure that new practices become ingrained in the organization’s culture and processes. Conduct post-implementation reviews to evaluate what worked, what didn’t, and gather input for future improvements.

Additional Resources

In Nick Tasler’s Harvard Business Review article, “Change is hard in the same way that it’s hard to finish a marathon. Yes, it requires significant effort. But the fact that it requires effort doesn’t negate the fact that most people who commit to a change initiative will eventually succeed. As leaders and consultants we need to be aware that every time we say “change is hard” we water the seeds of self-doubt. Instead, we could remind ourselves and our teams that we have been learning new skills and adapting to new environments literally since the day we squirmed out of the womb. Every time we feel the impulse to say “change is hard” we could make a different claim that is every bit as accurate: Adaptation is the rule of human existence, not the exception.

Life’s Messy, Live Happy by Cy Wakeman is about dramatically changing the level of happiness you feel in your daily life, by learning to disconnect happiness from external forces, stop worrying about the future, and realize that most of your negative feelings are about things that never even happened.

“It is high time to reinvent leadership thinking. Stop worrying about your employees’ happiness, and start worrying about their accountability. Cy Wakeman teaches you how to hire “emotionally inexpensive” people, solicit only the opinions you need, and promote self-awareness in your whole team. No Ego disposes with unproven HR maxims, and instead offers a complete plan to turn your office from a den of discontent to a happy, productive place.”

START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who have had the greatest influence in the world all think, act and communicate the same way—and it’s the opposite of what everyone else does. Simon Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.”

George Bernard Shaw – “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

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