Change management questions and answers

A change manager raised these questions.

How to encourage people to come up with ideas and thoughts?

Listen, do not evaluate, ask for ideas, act on some of them

How to help people not to be afraid to make decisions?

Reward good tries with friendly interest, say you want people to decide, give scope to do so, help people learn from mistakes

How to help people and us to be positive about change?

Involve people in getting it to work, listen to their concerns, talk about your own concerns, decide what to do about them. Accept what cannot be changed and make the best of it.

How to improve communications radically in the context of change?

Use an outsider to discover precisely how and why communications are not working. Then devise small specific steps to improve.

How to create a positive culture where people pull together without being directed?

Set up top team building activities to create a clear strategy and attractive vision for the future. Involve all the office members in developing the vision and strategy, identifying obstacles and overcoming them.

How to provide more developmental training?

Identify who can say “Yes” to providing more resources. Think about what is important to that person and how your proposal can meet their needs. Present proposal emphasising these benefits.

How to set realistic targets and priorities for change?

Decide which changes will provide the most value to you. Concentrate on those. Argue about and resist changes which take your eye off the ball.

How to encourage more openness from staff?

Listen, do not evaluate, share your feelings and concerns, show appreciation of openness from them, allow silence.

How to listen and identify the real problem?

Listen, ask questions, summarise, ask “How is that a problem? or Why is that important to you?” to get to causes. Don’t judge or advise.

How to build trust?

Give trust, hold confidences, take risks by being open about your thoughts

How to deal with resistance?

Remember people are not resisting you, they are scared of change or its implications. Show you understand this, listen and explain.

How to manage time by prioritising and organising the changes?

Decide which will changes provide the most value to you. Concentrate on those. Argue about and resist changes which take your eye off the ball. Don’t get distracted by trivia. Root out time wasting activities.

How to manage changes imposed on us by influencing upwards?

Take time as a group to decide what changes in the pattern of imposed change are required. Think about what is important to the person who can make the required modifications. Present proposal emphasising the benefits to him/her.

How to sell change positively?

Involve people in deciding on or implementing the changes. Explain the case for the change. Sell the benefits to them.

How to manage communication down and up. The cascade process?

Be models communicating clearly and directly upwards and listening supportively to those reporting to you. Communication is often easier in small (4 to 6) groups.

How to encourage an appropriate level of risk taking?

Take some yourselves visibly, show appreciation to reward what you want to happen. Avoid putting down risk taking. Say that you want it.

If you would like help using this idea, or have any comments or questions please contact me. Thanks, Nick