There are a number of different ways of approaching change within an organization, but there remains one constant that is integral to success. For real change to take root, it is necessary to have agents of change that understand their roles and believe that the organization will benefit from their efforts.
In many cases, leadership will view change initiatives like a race, with a clearly designated start and finish line. They believe that if they simply follow the prescribed route, they will arrive at the finish line in their desired state. However, this is not always the case.
Change agents should expect some degree of backtracking during change efforts, and not become discouraged if progress is stalled at any point. Like with any journey, challenges can arise that can cause a detour from the prescribed steps. The important element to remember is that there is no perfect cookbook for change that will suit each unique organization. To succeed, it is important to focus on making incremental changes and maintaining momentum.
Every small victory helps to bring change nearer, and helps build the necessary momentum to keep change efforts on track. Even though you've carefully designed your communications and training, you can't expect everyone to understand your message right away. Blaming those who are reluctant to engage can serve only to strengthen resistance. Instead, change agents need to regularly try new techniques to convince resistors, and avoid placing blame on certain professionals or departments.
In conclusion, change agents need to be able to clearly communicate the need for change to their peers, while understanding that not everyone will immediately subscribe. Instead of becoming frustrated, focus on small victories that will build momentum to keep supporters engaged and help convince resistors to change. If your organization is seeking to bring about change and has been unsuccessful, change management consulting can help provide a vision that people can really believe in.