Change management questions and answers
A change manager raised these questions.
How do we encourage people to come up with ideas and thoughts?
Listen, do not evaluate, ask for ideas, act on some of them
How do we 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, and help people learn from mistakes.
How do we 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, and decide what to do about them. Accept what cannot be changed and make the best of it.
How do we improve communications radically in the context of change?
Use an outsider to discover examples of where they are working. Gather ideas about how they could be better. Then, devise small specific steps to improve.
How do we create a positive culture where people pull together without being directed?
Set up team-building activities to create a clear strategy and attractive vision for the future. Involve all people in developing the vision and strategy and how to achieve it.
How do we provide more developmental training?
Identify who can say “Yes” to providing more resources. Consider what is important to that person and how your proposal can meet their needs. Present a proposal emphasising these benefits.
How do we 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 do we encourage more openness from staff?
Listen, do not evaluate, share your feelings and concerns, show appreciation of openness from them, and allow silence.
How do we 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 do we build trust?
Give trust, hold confidence, and take risks by being open about your thoughts.
How do we 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 changes will 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 do we manage changes imposed on us by influencing upwards?
Take time as a group to decide what changes are necessary. Consider what is important to the people who can modify them. Present a proposal emphasising the benefits to them.
How do we 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 do we encourage an appropriate level of risk-taking?
Take some yourselves visibly, and show appreciation to reward what you want to happen. Support risk-taking. Say that you want it.