successful change management

Some of my favorite childhood memories were from the times I spent browsing the massive movie selection at my local Blockbuster. I remember jumping in the car with my family on a Friday afternoon after school, looking forward to seeing if there would be any copies left of the newest release I had been (very impatiently) waiting for. Then, feeling relieved after managing to snag the last copy, my parents would let me grab an ice-cold Coke and movie theater butter microwave popcorn from the stand next to the register. After a bit more waiting (still impatiently) while my mom pulled out her checkbook to pay, we would finally walk through the sensor, grab our loot and head home for a classic family movie night.

Those were the good old days. 

The days when change was something I was only peripherally aware of. The days when I could count on my life remaining predictably and wonderfully the same. That younger version of myself couldn’t have imagined how easy it is to select, rent and start a movie today. And when I look back on those times, I am filled with nostalgia. Even though technology has made family movie nights easier, they no longer feel like an entire experience to be cherished in its rareness.

So what happened to Blockbuster? It didn’t survive because it failed to evolve into streaming. In the year 2000, it even had the chance to buy Netflix. I’m guessing Blockbuster is regretting that and so many other decisions these days. 

How we live and work is rapidly evolving, and if businesses or organizations are not open to change, they will quickly become obsolete. However, leaders who recognize that uncertainty is one of the only certainties and deploy effective change management strategies will ensure they remain ahead of the curve. This is where an expert in successful change management comes in. A change management keynote speaker can take you from facing change to embracing change. 

The Importance of Change Management Evaluation

Let’s consider what could have happened if Blockbuster had undergone a comprehensive change management evaluation process. First and foremost, I would imagine that “Netflix and Chill” would be eliminated from our vocabulary after Blockbuster snatched up Netflix at the low, low price of only $50 million. To you and me that may sound like an unimaginable amount, but when you consider that Netflix is currently worth around $100 billion, it suddenly sounds like a steal. A steal that Blockbuster completely missed out on.

They resisted change and paid the ultimate price.

Change is a constant and disruptive force in our professional and personal lives. There is simply no way around it, so it is crucial to understand how to not only successfully navigate through it but also learn how to leverage it to drive growth and success. Easier said than done, right? Especially when many of us live by the age-old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Yes, the status quo might be comfortable, but so is your well-loved favorite band t-shirt you bought in the Blockbuster era. It might be great in some situations, but that doesn’t mean it’s always the right choice. Sometimes you need to change into something better suited for the times. 

Embracing change and deploying successful change management is the only way to succeed, especially in today’s ever-evolving business landscape. As a leader, it is essential to continually refine your approach to managing change by regularly evaluating your change management processes. 

Six Effective Change Management Strategies

Accepting that change is inevitable and learning how to both face it and embrace it is the most essential step toward catalyzing change for growth and success. But how do you get from that first “aha” moment to implementing change management in a way that ensures your team is engaged and committed to the process and its intended outcome? 

Let’s explore six effective change management strategies that have worked for organizations worldwide, and that I know will work for you, too.

1. Understanding the Indicators of Strong Resistance to Change

When an organization introduces a change and encounters significant objections, pushback or questioning beyond a typical level, it’s a clear signal that the change management process requires a thorough evaluation. Some hesitation or skepticism is natural when individuals are confronted with change; however, an unusually intense or widespread negative response may illuminate a deficiency in communication, education or engagement strategies.

To ensure a seamless transition, it’s vital to identify the root causes behind these negative reactions and adapt your change management approach to effectively address concerns. Ensuring every voice is heard and valued is imperative for successful change management. This will ultimately foster a more positive and receptive response to the change. 

2. Evaluating Change Management Progress

When the implementation of a change moves slowly, feels cumbersome or faces recurring delays, it is a strong indicator that evaluating the change management is necessary. Consistent excuses or justifications for the slow pace or incomplete execution of specific elements highlight inefficiencies within the process. In these instances, evaluating how you are implementing change management will unearth the root causes of delays and obstacles, offering an opportunity to streamline the process, alleviate bottlenecks and realign strategies to ensure the efficient and effective implementation of the desired change.

By placing the utmost importance on process evaluation, you can maximize the impact of change management to create organizational transformation.

3. Prioritizing Communication and Encouraging Feedback

A fundamental aspect of leading change in the workplace is understanding your team’s thoughts, concerns and sentiments regarding the proposed change. Open communication and continuous feedback are essential for navigating uncertainty. By creating a safe space, demonstrating empathy and encouraging your team to engage in open dialogue, you will be empowered to address emerging issues, concerns or resistance effectively. 

Encouraging (and expecting) regular constructive feedback, along with developing mechanisms for ongoing communication, feedback collection and transparency, is crucial for making informed decisions and adjustments to your organizational change strategy. 

Your team has incredibly valuable insights, you simply need to be open to hearing them. 

4. Evaluating Change Management with Key Performance Indicators

The impact of change management will be much more significant if employees are engaged in the process and inspired to work together toward a desired outcome.  

Deploying engagement surveys that focus on specific metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is crucial for understanding how involved and invested your team is in decision-making and whether they feel heard, included and valued. By evaluating their engagement, you can ensure that you are always considering their needs before, during and after a change is implemented.

Gaining feedback through engagement surveys, and following through with action based on the same, demonstrates to your team that their wellbeing and resilience are paramount. 

5. Taking the Resilient Leader Assessment

When evaluating employee well-being and resilience, it is essential to consider not only the mental and emotional aspects but also the physical and spiritual dimensions. The Resilient Leader Assessment is a valuable tool that provides measurable metrics over time to gauge employees’ resilience in these various dimensions. 

By tracking improvements or areas that require attention, you can make informed adjustments to your change management process, ensuring that it aligns with and supports the holistic wellbeing and resilience of your workforce. This comprehensive approach to assessment empowers leaders to foster a more resilient and healthy workplace culture. 

6. Infusing Resilience into the Change Management Strategy

It’s vital to reassess your organizational priorities. If resilience isn’t a top concern, it’s time for a comprehensive review. Recognizing the significance of resilience, which encompasses mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing, is paramount when devising a change management strategy.  

As a leader, implementing an approach rooted in resilience involves embedding it into the organizational culture to foster a safe and supportive work environment that prioritizes your team’s wellbeing.

Successfully leading change in the workplace means putting people first. 

Take your Organization to the Next Level with a Change Management Speaker

Do you know what Blockbuster truly needed? A captain of the ship. Someone to keep their eyes on the horizon rather than in the trenches working to maintain the status quo without conscious thought about whether or not that was the right thing to do. Someone like a change management keynote speaker who understands the importance of facing change head-on and implementing strategies for bouncing forward through it.  

If Blockbuster had an expert change management speaker leading the way, they could have evolved with technology rather than become extinct. As with any significant change, the way they do business today may look vastly different, but the joy they bring to families gathering together for a family movie night would be just as impactful.  

Together, we can go from facing change to embracing change.