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Planned and managed Proactive change

+ High employee engagement + Good customer engagement + Lower and controlled costs + Learning culture dominates

+ Requires leadership and coaching + Higher chance of success

Unplanned and unmanaged Reactive change

- Low engagement

- Customers adversely affected - High change costs

- Culture of underperformance - Destroyed trust

- Increased risk of failure

against change. Here are five common reasons for resisting change and how managers can address each of these concerns. Tey need to be able to talk to individuals, probe them to fully understand their own reactions and then handle each of these in turn.

have to manage it proactively. To do that we need managers who are skilled and trained to be the drivers of change in our organisations. While senior leaders instigate the

strategic direction, it is common for change to be cascaded throughout an organisation, to managers and their teams to implement. Tis puts enormous pressure on managers; many of whom feel ill equipped or supported to handle major change projects.

Equipping managers to handle change

In our experience, when managers are involved from the start of a proactive change project the better equipped they are to manage, communicate and en-

When change projects start to derail, which they frequently do, managers will be the first to see the impact

gage people, leading to more effective change, with success even beyond our own expectations. Unfortunately, this is

not the reality in many organisations.  9 out of 10 managers believe they don't have the skills to manage.4

 50 per cent of managers take their first management role for increased compensation. 5

 23 per cent of managers want to lead other people.6

 26 per cent of manufacturing and engineering organisations face a management and leadership skills shortage.7

 85 per cent say the lack of leadership and management skills is an important concern for the business.8

26 | june 2016 |

When assessing how ready an organ- isation is to proactively drive through a change project, understanding the capability of people internally, and the resources they have to hand, is fundamental. Instilling the skills and knowledge in our managers to effectively manage, communicate and drive change is the first building block to getting change right. In our research we found that

managers don't really know how to address change and even at top management levels we often find gaps in knowledge about managing change or even defining a strategy that maps out where we want to be in the future. As we go through an organisation, the understanding diminishes. Tat's because the largest question

left unanswered is, “Why is this change happening?” We discuss 'how' we're going to handle change. We talk about 'what' is going to happen. But rarely do we effectively answer the 'why'. Why is it necessary for the business? Why is it important for the individual? While leaders can paint the big

picture, managers will be best placed to understand each of their team individually and frame communication and conversations so every individual can clearly see the importance of the change from a company perspective and what this means to them personal- ly. It is also a proactive step to prevent change projects from being derailed.

Why people derail change

When change projects start to derail, which they frequently do, managers will be the first to see the impact. It can be easy to blame failed processes and procedures but all too often it comes down to people. Finding people who are com-

fortable with change is a hard task. Most of us are predisposed to be

1.Fear of the unknown / surprise Timing is everything. Communication should be planned to alleviate any aspect of surprise. While employees might fear the future, involving them early will give them a sense of control. Working together can be a very powerful force for change.

2.Climate of mistrust of the company / bad history

Perhaps there have been projects that have failed in the past. Managers need to be honest about mistakes that have been made, why this project is different and that lessons have been learnt. Trust will only be earned when management at all levels are honest, and when they act on what they say and keep their word.

3.No personal reward to change It's easy to think that this just relates to monetary reward or remuneration. Tat's not always the case. People can be motivated by change and the possibili- ties it opens up for individuals. Perhaps it's recognition, perhaps it's learning new skills (supported by training), or perhaps it's a new challenge for them.

4.Loss of job security or control Tis is one of the most difficult aspects as sometimes management teams can be hampered by business-sensitive information. It could be that job losses are on the cards. Perhaps it's because there are financial difficulties and the business does not want to reveal the full extent of the challenges faced. Communication is not about laying everything out, it's about being open in what they can talk about and what is as yet uncertain. Giving people firm dates about when information will be available is crucial. While no guarantees can be made, there should at least be confidence in the process.

5.Fear of failure A change project can sometimes seem like a mountain to climb. Fear of failure creates procrastination moving

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