4 Steps to Introduce Change Successfully

Introducing change successfully doesn’t happen by accident. Gartner, a research and advisory group, estimates that only about 34 percent of change is successfully implemented, with an additional 16 percent reporting mixed results.

Those aren’t the best odds. Using a little organization and some other vital strategies will boost your likelihood of being among the 34 percent who report success with implementing changes on their team. Here are 4 steps to introduce change successfully.

1. Acknowledge the Need for Change.

The first step in introducing a change is understanding why it is necessary. What issue will a change improve? What happens if the problem remains unaddressed? Most importantly, how does the change impact the individuals on your team? Remember, people will always want to know the “WIIFM”… What’s In It For Me?

Many people find themselves intimidated by big changes. Change is risk; it feels unpredictable. Giving up the comfort of a routine can be hard.

Understanding the need for change helps you communicate to your team why the new idea is positive. If your team has a clear vision of how a new practice will benefit them, they will be more likely to support it. Gaining that support is a critical component that will determine whether your change is successful.

2. Create a Plan with Your Team.

Once your team clearly understands the reason for the change, it’s time to craft a plan. What are you asking your team to do differently? How will they accomplish these new tasks? If support and/or training is necessary, when and how will that take place?

Map out a process for implementing the new procedure with them. If you involve them in the planning, it becomes “our change” instead of “your change”. Together, consider the team’s overall calendar as you decide when the change will occur. For example, it may make more sense to postpone a change for a short time if key team members will be out of the office on vacation or are nearing a critical deadline.

3. Implement the Change.

Even when we do our best to anticipate all the possible outcomes, new processes can cause unexpected ripples impacting our team or customers in surprising ways. As you introduce the change, ensure you are available to answer questions or address unexpected effects of the new procedure.

Check in regularly with your team members to see what’s working and address any concerns or questions they may have.

4. Evaluate the Results of the Change.

Sometimes, change has quantifiable results with numbers that tell the story of its success or challenges. At other times, you’ll have to gather information from your team and customers about how the new process impacts them and addresses the issues that prompted the change.

Consider your criteria for success. What was your highest priority outcome? Did the change make it possible to achieve that outcome? What has improved as a result of this change?

If not, what new information have you learned about the process that can help you move forward more effectively?

Learn More About How to Introduce Change Successfully

Successfully introducing change is not always an easy process, but it’s a key skill in our fast-paced world. That’s why we offer a training session specifically geared toward showing you how to lead your team through changes effectively. We’ll discuss the common types of resistance to change and how to react. We’ll show you the four phases of the curve of change. This training will prepare you to lead your team into the new and unknown with the confidence you need for success. Contact us or learn more about our Thriving and Leading in Times of Change workshop on our website.