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Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Five key strategies for leading and managing change

I had the following article published this morning in Rochester, NY, so i thought I’d share it here. Change in organizations is inevitable and it presents its fair share of challenges, both logistically and emotionally. Whether changes are related to job responsibilities, reorganization, and/or acquisitions and mergers, I hope these five key strategies will either validate your efforts or offer you additional ideas for consideration.

– – – – – – -Five key strategies for leading and managing change.- – – – – -originally published on 9/1/15 in the Democrat & Chronicle, Rochester, NY:

If you’re leading a change initiative, check out these five key strategies that will help you, and those you lead, through a successful transition.

1. Establish a clear plan. A strong leader’s change strategy will be based on the understanding that a clear plan is the first priority, and its success is dependent upon carefully communicating that plan and related expectations consistently to everyone involved.

2. Position the change. We may not be able to minimize the emotions and challenges that people will experience when change ensues. Yet, through communicating the plan and its benefits before changes take hold we may help employees move through the change with a little less trepidation — minimizing the negative impact on employee morale and productivity.

3. Clarify roles and expectations. As leaders, anything we can do to clarify current and future roles and expectations, as promptly as possible, will help to lead others more swiftly through change.

4. Avoid dead air. Communicate updates and reinforce expectations throughout the change initiative. During significant change, a leader may well understand that there are actions associated with the change that are consistently taking place behind the scenes. However, a long gap in communication may be misinterpreted as a lack of action and follow-through. Also, in the absence of ongoing communication, people may start making up and acting on their own misinterpreted versions of what is happening, which could result in stalled progress.

5. Be sensitive to the human side of change. William Bridges, a well-known change management expert shares this in his informative book Managing Transitions — “Change may happen very quickly, yet transition may take a while, and not everyone goes through it at the same pace.”

With change being inevitable and sometimes constant in today’s business environment, our ability to understand and lead ourselves and others through change effectively is crucial to success.

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