Master Class: Culture of Change

Jun 22, 2023

Watch the full session recording here. Download the deck from the session.

3 Takeaways: Why Strategy and Change Management are Best Friends

Takeaway #1: Strategy creates the building, change management moves people through it.

Simply put, during organizational change, strategy creates the process, and change management mobilizes the people.

But how do you move your organization through the many inevitable bumps that massive change will bring? Here are the dos and don’ts as you set out in your change management process:

✅ DO: Show people what is in it for them.

Often people know a change is coming, but they don’t know why. Implementing a good change management strategy helps people clearly understand the purpose of the change. As Vernae explains, showing people what’s in it is a great motivator for buying in.

✅ DO: Have a clear approach.

Just as in strategic planning, you need a plan for change. People need to know what is being asked of them and why it matters.

❌ DON’T: Ignore resistance to change.

Not everyone wants to come along, and you’ll likely face resistance! But use that as an opportunity for feedback; resistance shows you what isn’t working in your organization.

❌ DON’T: Think no news is good news.

In alignment with feedback, we want to make sure our strategy addresses our change management and vice versa. By hearing from our key drivers and applying a tactical approach, we can successfully see where we are today and where we want to be in the future.

Takeaway #2: Get people to move with you, not against you.

Success in change management [and strategic planning, to that end!] requires getting your team to move with you, not against you. To help unite your team, follow these dos and don’ts:

✅ DO: Find executive sponsorship.

Change starts from the top down. Find an executive sponsor and help them be a change agent. Support from the top helps create a trickle-down effect.

✅ DO: Communicate clearly and consistently.

Strategic planning and change management BOTH require communicating consistently and clearly. Be clear who you’re speaking to, at what level, and at what consistency. Proactively addressing internal fires with clear messaging will help tackle some of your most important strategic issues.

❌ DON’T: Be ad-hock with change management structures.

Be intentional about the methods and tactics you use to create change. Vernae says a well-made plan creates consistency; an ad-hoc system can create holes, AKA the Swiss Cheese Effect. The bumpier the transition process, the more likely the future state could have a lot of missing holes.

Takeaway #3: Use change to build trust.

Being a great leader – change management or not – requires creating trust among your team. Here are a few proven dos and don’t as you help create trust during this process:

✅ DO: Be humble – admit that change requires a fluid process.

Change starts from the top down. Find an executive sponsor and help them be a change agent. Support from the top helps create a trickle-down effect.

❌ DON’T: Overcomplicate your approach.

Be thoughtful and intentional, but don’t overcomplicate it. Just focus on creating clear, simple communication that creates trust.

✅ Do: Allow your employees to be heard.

People don’t just want to come to work anymore – they want their voices heard and incorporated. By listening to their partners and incorporating their feedback in the change process, Karl and Danielle were able to earn the trust of their clients and employees.

✅ Do: Allow your employees to be heard.

Danielle ended on a positive and powerful message. The entire point of strategic planning and change is to create the best version of your organization. Figure out the who, the what, and the why of change and communicate that clearly.

  • Where are we going and why?
  • Who is required to help reach that destination – why is every individual important?
  • What are we seeking to achieve?
  • Why is it important we adapt and move to that destination?

Check out the Communication Checklist on slide 21.

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