Change is perpetual in the business world, and its pace is accelerating. As business leaders, I feel we must be prepared to be an active force in identifying, planning, enabling and sustaining change initiatives. This is a core part of our function inside of the business. However, a long-lasting change that improves business outcomes does not happen by chance. The use of change tools helps improve the planning and execution of change actions. Several change management tools exist to aid in the process. Some of the more accessible tools that should be leveraged more frequently are Kotter’s 8-step, SWOT Analysis, and Appreciative Inquiry. The use of these tools will improve the ability to execute organizational change programs more efficiently and possibly lower resistance levels with internal and external stakeholders. Even if their use does not reduce resistance in a particular situation, the use of change tools will improve the understanding of the elements of resistance so that as leaders, we may devise tactics to mitigate their impact. By planning both the change process and integration of new behaviors for sustainability in advance of a project’s initiation, the likelihood for a long-lasting and positive change increase significantly.
Learning more about Organizational Change Management has helped me to realize its power to shape the future. Leading change can be demystified. Every change is unique, but we have more models and tools at our disposal than ever before to aid in the execution of change initiatives we identify and decide to pursue.