Change Management Guide: How to lead your business through change

Change Management Guide: How to lead your business through change

Change management is a highly complex field, and it can be difficult for both leaders and employees to stay on top of it.

In this guide, we explain the term and answer some of the most relevant questions on the topic.

People & Performance has been working with change management for over 15 years. Every day, we are on the ground in both Danish and international companies, training their leaders to manage change.

Change has become a basic condition

Today, companies need to be able to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances and change cycles in many industries have shortened.

This means that more changes are being introduced and that they are being introduced at shorter and shorter intervals.

Changes have become a condition rather than a project, and the ability to keep up with change can be crucial.

What is change management?

Change management is about the ability to lead a change process in an organisation.

Leaders must have the right knowledge and skills to support the process and lead employees through the change.

The leader’s role in change management

To successfully lead a company through change, leaders need to know how to facilitate the process. They also need the ability to mobilise the people who will drive the change.

It requires a new understanding of the leadership role, where you, as a leader, are not the all-knowing superhero who has “figured it out” and must lead employees to a new state.

Instead, you are a human being who must manage and understand the change in dialogue with your employees. This requires both an open mind and concrete tools.

Your employees are the key to change

Change creates increased complexity in a business, and neither employees nor leaders know the end goal.

Therefore, organisational change and change management must go hand in hand to avoid barriers to change.
It requires clear communication of change and creating stability and anchor points that can act as anchor points or respites during the process.

Your employees are the key to success. If they don’t have an anchor, they may resist the change.

Get your employees on the journey of change

When employees feel that everything is in flux, it can lead to a wide range of negative consequences, such as increased talent attrition, stress-related sick leave and high levels of demotivation.

That’s why engaging and empowering employees to help initiate and create change is essential.

If change participants are to throw their full energy into the change, there needs to be a secure core that both employees and leaders can be sure will not change.

4 movements that will develop your organisation’s change capacity

The change is rooted in three key areas. Read more in the article below.

Get started with change management

To steer your business confidently through the transformation using change management, there are two basic concepts you need to implement:

1. The scope and nature of the change

The first thing to do is to consider the scope of the change. Think about what the change will change for those affected by it.

For example, examine how the change will alter your organisation’s processes, technology, roles, responsibilities, culture and attitudes.

Try to put yourself in the shoes of the change participants and assess how intrusive the change is for them. What energy does it require, and what value does it bring?

You can assess the change’s scope, weight and impact by addressing these questions.

2. Assess your employees’ readiness for change

Next, you need to consider your employees’ readiness for change and what change reactions you can expect to encounter.

When assessing the readiness for change in your company, there are six change reactions that can help you.

They are about relationships, getting people on board with the change and balancing a system that is now – because of the change – out of balance.

This is where tools like the Change Readiness Assessment can help you lead the change.


Change management in M&J Recycling

“We have gained a common language and fostered collaboration across the organisation”.
Ruth Lundorff, Head of HR in M&J Recycling..

Create a culture of change and succeed with change management

If your business is going through a change, it’s important to create a culture of change in the workplace.

To create a culture that is ready for change, you need to practice change. This is basically how you create culture.

For example, you can do this by finding solutions to different challenges. In doing so, you must see, create, and practice change readiness.

Train your learning agility

When creating a culture of change, you can also work on learning agility.

Learning agility is about not accepting the status quo, and every employee and leader has something they are working on and developing. This is also where leadership development is relevant.

The basic idea behind this approach is to develop people to develop the business.

Culture of change builds readiness for change

There are several elements involved in the process of building a culture of change. It requires a lot from you as a leader and your skills to facilitate the process.

The most important thing is that all employees are constantly working on developing the skills relevant to the company. This can be through job rotation, task sharing, project participation or other means.

You may have a lot of small changes going on in your organisation, or you may be embarking on one significant change. This calls for different development needs.

Either way, it’s by practising continuous learning that employees build readiness for change.

From change management to change theory

Change has become the new normal. In the past, few changes were happening at the same time. Today, there are many.

The increase in speed, complexity and number of changes calls for good leadership.

However, it also calls for learning, as thoroughly planning and anticipating change is no longer possible.

That’s why we talk about change learning rather than change management.

Focus on new understandings

Change learning requires more dialogue between employees and leaders and focuses on building new understandings rather than implementing new tools.

Transformational learning requires the team to put something at stake, and both team and leader have the mandate and ability to act.

Change learning is significantly related to changes that involve innovation or significant changes to collaboration and business models.

These changes are more of a shared learning journey than a process where the leader leads employees to a new place.

Therefore, your role as a leader also shifts from leading employees to a new place to being the enabler of change.

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