You Can’t Keep Faking It! 3 Ways to Fully Commit to Making Successful Change

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Feb 5, 2016
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

Stop faking change!

Stop paying it lip service and not taking supporting actions. Commit to change or don’t even bother.

Change is hard. It’s why I blog a lot about it here, and here, and here. Oh, and here, too. I write about it a lot because how you navigate change impacts whether you will succeed or fail.

It doesn’t need to be costly or painful

Because change is hard, all too often organizations fake change. That means this: They expect change to happen in an environment where they are unwilling to commit to the support needed to make the change a success – unwilling to change processes, culture, strategy and they way they work.

Sounds counter-intuitive, right?

It is. And it’s costing your organization productivity, performance and profit.

Organizational problems are linked together, and change in one area often impacts other areas. New business initiatives, new technology, new processes and procedures, leadership changes – all require new behaviors and ways of doing things.

Organizational change is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean it has to be painful or costly.

So how do you stop faking change?  First you need to acknowledge how you’re faking change before you can fix it.

You really gotta walk the walk

Communication is a key part of managing change. Are you really providing supporting processes, structures, and culture for open and honest communication? Are you sending the right messages to the right audiences at the right time?

And is everyone inside the organization – from the executives down to the interns – aware of the changes, how it will impact them, and can contribute towards making the change a success?

If not, then you’re faking change.

Stakeholders can tell when they’re getting lip service and it does have a negative impact on commitment. Walk the walk and lead the change effort by example.

But, it’s how we’ve always done it

Culture is the way work gets done around here.

One of the hardest parts about causing positive change is changing the status quo – how things have always been done. But you have to change if you want to be successful.

You’ve got to commit to the new way – fully.

If the leaders aren’t willing to change their behaviors, or work to change the behaviors of others to support the change, then how do you expect the change effort to be successful? Your job as the leader is to lead.

You MUST make the time to be the face of the change and prioritize engaging with stakeholders. That includes leading in changing the culture if needed to support a the new way of doing things.

Fix broken processes

Change in one area often impacts other areas.

This requires revamping or doing away with old processes or creating new processes to support the change. You can’t keep trying to use old processes designed to support the old way of doing things and expect a new result.

You should do a detailed process inventory and analysis so you have an accounting of your processes, identify which processes need attention, which may need to be created, and then communicate the changes to the team – and train them how to follow them.

The moral of the story is this: You can fake change all you want, but if you really want positive change to be a success, lip service won’t cut it.

You must commit to a new way of doing things.

This was originally published on the Tolero Think Tank blog.

This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.
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