Five Essential Change Management Principles

Adopting a principled approach significantly improves your change program's chances of success.

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Taking a Principled Approach to Managing Change

Many change programs appear to the innocent bystander as a struggle for power amongst competing interests within and without the organization. These programs can appear that way because they are. In the short term, these kinds of implementation seem to succeed. However, once the people forcing things in place start to weaken their grip, the change effort can fall apart very quickly. Short term success gives way to longer term failure.

On the other hand, adopting a principled approach that engenders openness and trust and displays integrity will see the change program through the hard times and on to lasting success. Business Performance Pty Ltd promotes five key principles of successful change management. Adopting these principles in both spirit and practice will enhance significantly the chances of success for your change initiative. These five principles are summarized as follows:

1. Sponsorship
The change program has the visible support of key decision-makers throughout the organization and resources are committed to the program.
2. Planning
Planning is conducted methodically before program implementation and committed to writing. Plans are agreed with major stakeholders and objectives, resources, roles and risks are clarified.
3. Measurement
Program objectives are stated in measurable terms and program progress is monitored and communicated to major stakeholders.
4. Engagement
Stakeholders are engaged in genuine two-way dialogue in an atmosphere of openness, mutual respect and trust.
5. Support structures
Program implementers and change recipients are given the resources and supporting systems they require during and after change implementation.

Even if you are not articulating the principles governing your change initiative, your managers, clients, employees and everyone else involved in your change program will sense the covert principles operating and will act accordingly. What principles are your change program embodying? Are they consistent with your and your organizations values? What are the disconnects and what are you doing about it?

Expert View Author: AIMM MAITD

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Find out more about our five change management principles and how to apply them to your change initiative. Check out our comprehensive resource kit, packed with practical strategies and exercises designed to lead you and your team through the change management maze.

Managing Change in the Workplace

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