Creating a change management action plan will help you implement any necessary changes in your organization. A thoughtful change management action plan will be an enormous benefit to you and your employees now and for years to come. How well you carry out your action plan definitely will impact your company’s profitability and the motivation level of your employees. So, it is really worth the effort to spend some time on this important step. If you are new to my posts, I encourage you to read over the last few to get a feel of what we’ve been discussing regarding change management.
“Companies that change may survive, but companies that transform thrive. Change brings incremental or small-scale adaptations, while transformation brings great improvements that ripple through the future of an organization.” ~ Nick Candito
Any search online will identify generic change management plan templates, but I feel that the one that will work best for you and for your company is one that incorporates the elements that are important to you and your team. Take a few minutes to discern what those elements might be. It might help to talk it over with someone who is an objective party and not overly familiar with your particular business. They will help you thrash through things you might not have thought of.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, one of my favorite books of all time is Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. That book is truly a feast of good leadership information. The topics covered are particularly relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic. One in particular that will be helpful to keep in mind when creating a change management action plan is Covey’s advice to begin with the end in mind.
What begin with the end in mind really means is starting with the end result of your work and then reverse-engineering the process. In your change management action plan, it will mean thinking about what you hope to achieve with your changes and then planning backwards from there. I encourage you to image viewing from the 30,000-foot level your vision or your organization’s vision, and then zoom down to the 500-foot level in drafting your action plan. You will be working on both the broad visionary level as well as the detail level. It is an amazing exercise to peek over the horizon to see any bumps that might be down the road. If you can identify those future challenges, you can proactively work toward ways to address or avoid them.
Including a timeline section as well as an evaluation section to your action plan are important. Just keep in mind that your timeline should have enough flexibility to allow adjustments for things that will inevitably pop up. The reflection that an evaluation section allows will help you to discern how to make similar changes moving forward.
“Change your opinions, keep your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.” ~ Victor Hugo
I’m so grateful to those of you who have reached out to me to let me know that you’ve appreciated this series on change management. If you’re having a rough time of it, I hope you remember, you are not alone. Working through change in challenging times can feel overwhelming—I understand. I’m here to help. Just let me know what I can do to support you. At the end of the day, we’re all in this together. Until next time, be well and take good care.