10 tips for change management success

Thor Olavsrud

change management transformational change
Terri Haas/CIO

2. Change takes time

You can change technologies very quickly in the right circumstances, but changing the way employees think about their roles, the business, and your culture doesn't happen overnight. The time required to change hearts and minds must be built into your change management plan.

"It's going to take time, Calderoni says. "Be reasonable in your expectations for how long it's going to take for the change. Build that into your plan. You can be aggressive, but you also need to be realistic."

3. Start with a vision

Successful change management strategies require a clear conception of what you're trying to achieve. That idea can't be too static — you need to allow for alterations along the way — but you need a clear vision of the end-state to get everyone moving in the same direction.

"Make sure there's a vision," Calderoni says. "What does success look like after you work through this? It helps you understand the 'why,' and letting others appreciate that 'why' gets them to buy in."


4. Engage the stakeholders

To succeed with change management, you need to identify the people who will be most affected by your proposed changes and get them invested in the project. These people will become either the strongest resisters or your most powerful champions for change. If possible, involve them in the creation of your change management vision from the outset.

"Understand who needs to be part of that change and make sure they embrace it," Calderoni says. "Make sure they're willing to make the change and make them advocates."


5. Know the tradeoffs

All changes have knock-on effects. If you devote people and budget to one project, some other project or process will suffer. When planning for change, identify other areas that will be affected and seek to quantify that effect to understand the tradeoffs you'll be making.

"Understand that you can't do everything," Calderoni says. "Make sure you prioritise what you're doing and how you're doing it."

6. Work with the willing

Listening to dissenting voices can be valuable, as they may have considered tradeoffs that you haven't. But you can't successfully change an organisation if individuals are fighting you every step of the way. You need to work with people that share your vision and let go of the ones that can't.

"Make sure you've got key individuals, especially those in critical roles, that are your drivers," Calderoni says. "They understand what you're trying to accomplish and are willing participants, not resisters. That will give you the momentum to overcome."

7. Communicate, communicate, communicate

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