Surviving the Switch and Change Management

Every organization at some point might have to switch management or systems. This is important for growth but the time of switching to new systems can make an organization very vulnerable. Surviving the Switch is key to better days for the organization with a  new and improved, management team, system, or technology. Below are steps that need to be taken in order to increase an organization’s chance of surviving the switch

How to Increase Chances
of Surviving the Switch

Proper Planning

If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. The first step to surviving the switch is to plan properly. The plan should cover every detail from start to finish and also cover any contingencies that may arise. For the change to be successful nothing must be left to chance. Murphy’s Law states that whatever can go wrong will go wrong and so the organization must prepare for the worst but hope for the best. The plan should carefully outline what tasks need to be done when they need to be done, and by whom.

Build a Transitioning Team

A switching committee should be established to help govern the process. When a transition team has established a structure within the team should be established too. The team will oversee the process of implementing decisions and coming up with new and flexible structures to adapt to any new developments during the transition.

Appoint Leadership

The job of a leader is to lead a team, or an organization or any followers towards a common goal. In order to survive the switch, an organization must appoint leaders at the different stages of the process to take charge of their units. The leaders chosen must be committed and reliable and must have an in-depth understanding and knowledge of the of a system, the new system, and what it will take to survive the switch.

Communication

Communication is key and proper and effective communication could propel any plan forward and could be the difference between its success and its failure. When it comes to switching systems, it pretty much changes management and communication is one of the main ingredients for change management.

There needs to be communication from top management to the rest of the company (top-down communication), communication between departments and between teams (horizontal communication), and communication from the lowest level of the organization to the top management (bottom-up communication). These methods of communication ensure transparency and coherence throughout the organization.

Proper communication also means that employees, customers, and stakeholders of the organization are all kept in the loop. Imagine if an employee is unaware of the changes that are going on in the organization and goes on giving wrong information to customers, that would cause damage. Proper communication is very important especially in huge changes like mergers & acquisition where a company might be undergoing complete changes from top to bottom. A little bit of understanding and information about how this proposed change is going to benefit them will go a long way.

Find Advocates

You need to choose a person or group of people that have charismatic abilities or political pull within the organization to help advocate for the change. People don’t like change even if it’s for the best. There’s a part of the human brain that initially tries to resist change of anything familiar and any inconvenience it might bring. Having advocates to help change peoples mind and bring them on board is important.

These chose advocates should also have leadership abilities which they will use to get people to believe in them and believe in the need for change. These advocates should be identified early on and brought on board before making the organization-wide announcement of any switch or changes that would be done. Also identifying these advocates early on means they can be trained and they have time to get knowledgeable and informed on what they are going to be advocating for.

Re-Asses Always

Yes you have a great plan, yes everything is going as planned, yes yes but it doesn’t mean you should get carried away and not read periodically. Pick times to access the plan and check in with the transition team to ensure that everything is going smoothly. When you do this, you identify potential problems before they become problems and you catch mistakes before they have any chance to do damage. The goal of assessing and reviewing the change process is to correct any issues quickly, and get feedback once corrections have been made to make sure the plan is going smoothly.

Address Stakeholder Concerns

Do not ignore the complaints of your employees or stakeholders about the changes being made. Take every complaint and try to address it or at least acknowledge. You’re making changes to improve and you wouldn’t want to leave any stone unturned. Some complaints are hidden gems of what’s actually wrong in an organization and what can be done about it. Starbucks is a good example of a company that takes customer feedback and complaints and add it to their business model and strategy.