The top challenges we are facing in 2022 if you are managing change in organisations

The rollercoaster that we find ourselves on for managing change in organisations continues in 2022. While the twists and turns may now be anticipated, the drops may still leave you and everyone else a little queasy. There are a number of trends that have been discussed recently in the recent Change Management Institute Global Insights Next-Gen Change Management webinar, which was attended by practitioners all over the world, myself included. In addition to this, the recent Neuroleadership Institute conference covered trends and challenges facing organisations this year. Following are some of the themes that all organisations and change leaders should consider with a sense of curiosity.

So what will be the challenges in 2022 for managing change?

Embracing new ways of working and introducing hybrid ways of working in the workplace are key. For some organisations flexible ways of working were just 'the way it is' and that meant achieving a competitive advantage immediately and a...

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Avoid these 3 fatal mistakes when assessing the impact of a Change

When managing change in organisations, the core input is the change impact assessment which informs the change strategy and plan.  How well you manage the change is dependent on how well the people who are responsible for introducing the change in the organisation understand the impacts of the change they are introducing.  

It's true, that the more experienced you are in assessing change impacts the better you will be at it. Throughout my career I have learned lessons where I have underestimated the change, and while hindsight may be a wonderful thing, you do get to know the pitfalls and traps of certain types of change. You certainly become better at asking the right questions over time. 

So whether you are a Change Manager, a Change Leader or a people leader of an area going through a change, here are the 3 fatal errors you may make when assessing impacts. 

1) Failing to explore the history or backstory of the change you are introducing. This can really...

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Looking to get into Change Management? Here's how..

Many times I have been asked - 'So Therese, how do I get into Change Management?' 'What course should I do?', 'What experience do I need?.' Well in such a competitive and also in demand market like we have now, employers are looking not just externally for Change Managers but more and more are looking at a number of strategies to build change capability in their organisation. That being said, there is no better time to get into Change and here are a number of things for you to consider and paths you can take to managing change in organisations. 

Pathway 1: Complimentary experience and basic skills. There are many 'feeder' jobs that are on the pathway to Change Management. Human Resources, Learning/Training, Project Management, Senior Business Analysis. Yes, all of these are typical pathway disciplines, with many Change Managers having these backgrounds on their resumes. For me, I started in Marketing and Communications. I have experience in Customer experience as...

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There is nothing 'warm and fuzzy' about Change Management

The tone when people comment about the disciplines of Change and Communications 'warm and fuzzy' is certainly one where they are being judged as a necessary evil rather than a value add skillset.  Sure, at times this can be how good change makes you feel, but it is not the appropriate catch phrase to describe the function itself.

Another classic term used is that Change is part of the 'soft' skill set. If achieving outcomes is about the 'soft skills' in business then Finance and Sales should also be categorised as 'soft' as well. The only reason Change Management exists is to achieve business outcomes in a shorter timeframe through engaging the people who are impacted in owning that change. In fact depending on the type of change there may be nothing warm about it at all. 

The benefits of introducing change management and change leadership capability in an organisation are extremely tangible.

The reason you invest in change management is because it decreases the time from...

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Change leadership during COVID - considering the 'whole' person

A good leader of change will be attuned to how their team is responding to change, and be considering how the change effects their people not just professionally but how as an individual it may have an impact. After all, we all respond to different changes in different ways. At times when leading change you may be surprised at the response individuals have in response to change. This is why it is critical to consider the entire individual when leading change.

There isn't a requirement for your team members to leave their personal lives at the door when they come to work.In fact that is becoming more and more impossible during these COVID times when we don't even leave our homes to go to work.

There has been no more important time than now for leaders to engage on a humane and empathetic level to get the most out of their staff. An employee will display more loyalty and work harder for Managers who care about them as a whole person acknowledging that each team member has...

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Will 2022 bring any more certainty than 2021?

Welcome to 2022, a year which will there will be continued uncertainty in our lives, however organisations now need to start providing workers with stability in somewhat unstable times. Heading into the Christmas break in 2021 there was a sense of hope however Omnicron and case numbers have placed everyone back into uncertainty and for many, self isolation.

The 'great resignation' is being toted as a challenge, where workers may choose to jump ship if flexibility isn't highly valued and they are seeking new challenges. 

So what should you focus on in 2022? 

Following are a number of areas for leaders and organisations to focus on in 2022:

1) Be clear about the new way of working: for many workplaces, especially in corporate workplaces it seems that 'blended' working arrangements will be the new norm, with a mix of work from home days as well as being in the office. For workplaces where that isn't being actively committed to by now, the uncertainty may lead to...

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Signs of change fatigue

There is a often debate whether change fatigue is a reality or myth.  When change is not effectively managed or led well, change fatigue most certainly ensues. There are signs that a good leader keeps an eye out for when it comes to the impact on change to their team. 

Following are some of the key indicators a good Change leader picks up on:

1) Illness is on the rise: sick leave or general illness of team members and employees in the business is one sign of change fatigue. During the winter seasons, this can be blamed on bugs or flu's, however when a good change leader recognises the link between change and poor health. When individuals are under stress their immune systems suffer leaving them susceptible to catching and spreading these bugs. This doesn't necessarily mean team members will be taking more days off. A good leader notes who may not be coping well with change through physical indicators. Back issues and things such as migraines are other physical...

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Engagement is the magic ingredient in any successful Change

What makes the difference between a successful and unsuccessful change approach? Engagement.

Just like in relationships - you learn there is a big difference between dating someone and being engaged. Engagement has commitment and a clear intent.

An ineffective change manager or leader will approach change like dating. Spend a little time with their stakeholders, and even if it was a memorable moment, don't follow through or create that genuine relationship. It's superficial with some brief communication before and after. There might be questions asked but it's patchy as to whether there are answers provided. A successful change strategy contains more than that. It enrols leaders, stakeholders and impacted audiences through impactful interventions.

So how do you create powerful engaging dialogue with those who are affected by the Change?

  • Involve the customer of the change in the design of the solution. Such an easy concept and yet it still isn't followed. With many...
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5 critical things in your business needed to set your leaders up for Change success

Leaders require particular organisation structures and enablers to be in place to be able to effectively lead change.

Let's explore these enablers:

1) Clear and engaging communication channels: Communication channels and methods need to be clear and functional. Even in large organisations I have witnessed death by email and written word. A picture is worth a thousand words - after all who has time to read more than a paragraph unless its well formed and engaging?  From strategic messaging to operational messaging, all employee groups should be clear in knowing which channel to go to for certain information.  Information that the individual leader can reinforce and link into. Change leaders need communication channels and methods that achieve cut through. This allows leaders to leverage the messages and allows them to create their own notes on how the change impacts the individuals in their team.

2) Departmental role clarity: When joining an organisation, one of the...

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To create a major change, you need to fight for it

I have in my phone the Gandhi saying: 

'First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.'

I look at it every now and then, to generate that fire in my belly when I lead or support a major transformation program. If you are a Change leader - take heed. You need an appetite and a resilience to lead a big change. You need to believe in it more than anyone else. As when others try to bring you down, when others fight you, you need to keep holding the future vision you have and keep on keeping on. For me, my primary motivation is when the transformation is needed to have the organisation perform better. If I feel the transformation is the right thing to do for customers or for staff (hopefully for both) then nothing can stop me.

This seems very relevant this week. With the protests across the globe after the death of George Floyd. And globally this is an issue - even in Australia. It is important to take a stand and say loudly that racial...

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