The Eight Principles
Effective organizational change is predicated on a firm understanding of the eight undeniable truths of change. Regardless of the type of change (strategic, process or departmental), the Eight Constants cannot be avoided. However, we can work with them, manage their impact and design a change plan that works to our advantage.
1. It Takes a Village
Organizations change when the people within them change. Organizations are, in essence, groups of people. If an organization is going to change, the leadership team will need to consider the extent those impacted will need to change also.
2. An Object at Rest Tends to Stay at Rest
Resistance is inevitable. There are personal, structural and physiological reasons why people resist change. Organizations that expect and proactively deal with resistance will experience the most effective change outcome.
3. Old Trees Have Deep Roots
Commitment to the past hinders change in the future. The success or failure of past change events, an employee's perception of the current situation, and the organizational culture all help determine how deep the roots of an organization go; ultimately determining how difficult it will be to design and implement a strategy for change.
4. Get to the Heart of It
Connecting to the head and the heart builds commitment. People are not entirely rational. They need to have a rational recognition of the need to change, as well as a deeper emotional connection to believe in what the change is all about.
5. Beware the Paparazzi
A leader's actions speak louder than words. What organizational leaders and executives do and say have more influence than any other change event factor. Subordinates watch leaders constantly for cues about the change process.
6. You Can Say That Again
Effective communication demands quality and quantity. Clear and directed communication is critical during any organizational change effort. Honesty, organization, consistency, and responsiveness across all forms of communication will help control the tone and tempo of the change event.
7. If They Build It, They Will Come
People support what they help create. People inherently connect with something they help develop. Early on executive management and team leaders must engage people at all levels in the change process. This buy-in will pay big dividends.
8. You're Not in Kansas Anymore
Sustaining change takes support and reinforcement. Organizations that implement change successfully ensure that hiring, training, developing, measuring, rewarding and communication is accomplished in ways that are consistent with the desired new state rather than the old.