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Managing Change in the Workplace

No organisation should view itself as a finished product. In order to stay competitive, relevant and pushing ahead, you need to ensure that your organisation has an ability to manage change effectively. Change management itself is a function of a leader’s capability to interpret the need for change and bring out those changes in their organisations. 

Let’s take a look at the component stages in effective change management. We will unpack how it is that you can ensure that you’re working effectively toward managing the changes you want to see in your organisation in a positive and productive way.

Consider what you’re seeking to achieve

Change can be spurred on by almost anything – but it will always be built around a goal of some description. This brings us to the first of four component parts in effective change management – developing your understanding of what it is that you’re seeking to achieve.

Ask yourself:

Taking the time to develop your understanding of what you’re seeking to achieve here is key. It will help you eliminate the grey areas in your understanding of what it is needed and set the foundation for what you’ll be doing to formalise your next steps.

Formalise your change management plan

Change can take place organically, and there are often situations in which that change is spurred on by a sudden need to address a specific concern. But in cases where you have the time and space to develop a more cogent response, any time spent formalising your plan will be time well spent.

When developing a formalised plan, you’ll need to draw on the work you’ve done to understand the problem you’re seeking to address. This work will now need to be purposed around these four key points:

Formalising your plan is an essential step – and it will ask you to engage in a combination of high and low detail planning that best matches the understanding you developed in the initial stages of your change management journey. This ensures that your plan remains fluid enough to address the issues at hand and that you’re working effectively as your understanding of the challenge develops.

Address what’s holding you back

Any significant transformation will require you to address the tension that exists between what your organisation is and what you want it to become. New leaders will be asked to step up, jobs will be changed, new skills and capabilities must be developed, and employees will be uncertain and resistant. This third phase is all about how you manage these tensions through the process of implementing a given change.

The core takeaway here originates in the ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’. But this doesn’t mean becoming overly reactive and foregoing the work you did early on to develop a change management plan. Culture is built on respect and agreed on values – if you can’t demonstrate a respect for your workers through this process of change, you’re running the risk of derailing the teams that you’ll be relying on to execute the changes you’re asking for.

Leading change management efforts from the front

Change of any kind can be a big task – in order for an effort to be successful, you need to ensure that your plan is actively incorporating the efforts of those you’re asking to carry out that change. To this end, you need to become something of an advocate not only for the changes you want implemented, but also for the ownership over those changes that you wish to inspire in your followers.

Change requires more than a passive agreement on the part of your workers: it demands an active buy-in. It demands of your leaders that they become more than merely adept at communicating requirements, but also inspiring the people they are leading to become advocates in their own right. 

Leaders of this calibre will be highly capable at:

Work with Performance by Design

At Performance by Design, we help businesses of all shapes and sizes develop the leaders they need to help take their business forward. When it comes to change management, we can provide your organisation with support in the form of:

From our bases of operations in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto, Canada we work with teams across the globe. Wherever you are, you can look to us for help in fostering the sorts of workplace culture and mode of operation that will see you working at your best.

If you have a question about Performance by Design, please drop us a line. You can get in touch by emailing us at