5 Effective Strategies for Change Management

Posted by Mike Donnelly on May 02, 2014

Storytelling, Change Management, Leadership, Disney

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Many times you may find yourself feeling like everything has turned upside down in your world-just when you thought you achieved a goal, another challenge, or obstacle takes its place.

Organizations are constantly changing, too; whether it is to keep ahead of the market, to accommodate new leadership, or to support new products, locations or professional development. What do they say? “The only thing that remains constant is change”...well, change is hard (that’s another thing “they” say!)

Really, change doesn’t have to be that hard.

As long as change is anticipated, lead and managed well, change can be invigorating-even motivating. Our work often results in great change within an organization: behaviors, expectations, reporting relationships, accountability tools, process improvements, hiring practices, nomenclature, etc., etc.

The process of leading, managing and anticipating is referred to as Change Management. Doing it well is not rocket science, yet it requires high levels of engagement and finesse. As a result of our years working at Disney- where change is constant, we have compiled  our take on 5 effective strategies for successful change management:

1. Become a Storyteller: critical leadership tool to help employees connect not only with their heads, but with their hearts. Helps to answer the “why” in “why are we doing this?”

2. Hold stand Up Meetings: by nature of hosting standing meeting, it will be concise! The meetings become mandatory and occur regularly- they provide the opportunity for leadership to deliver the messages that are so critical in times of change.

3. Proactively Squash the Rumor Mill: in the absence of clear leadership, employees tend to believe what they want- based on often perceived information. Generally, when this happens, the result is not conducive to a positive transition or culture. Leaders should proactively solicit feedback, thoughts, and rumors to address them head-on. This practice promotes open and honest communication, helps leadership gain trust and ensures employees operate with factual information.

4. Predict the Future: articulate your vision, paint a picture of what a successful future looks like. Leaders must share this information consistently and frequently. Offers opportunity to celebrate progress, helps to focus all levels on the goal, and helps people prioritize what’s important.

5. Compete: against internal departments based on metrics tied to successful implementation of the change. This healthy internal competition drives better results, momentum, and promotes department rivalry that inevitably makes all participants better. Adds an element of fun to an otherwise potentially laborious change process.Housekeeping teams at Disney Resorts are constantly competing for improved metrics!

Implementing these proven change management strategies will undoubtedly garner successful implementation of whatever change your organization is tackling. Incidentally, these strategies are just plain good for your organization, whether you are rolling through change or not. If you would like more information, or ideas on how to manage change in your organization, contact us!

 

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ABOUT DONNELLY EFFECT: With over 20 years of Disney leadership experience, Mike Donnelly, Chief Experience Officer (CEO) of Donnelly Effect shares his insights on Talent Selection and Hiring, Employee Onboarding, Customer Experience, Workplace Culture and Leadership- among others. Donnelly Effect is home of the exclusive "World-Class Workshop" series and offers consulting services and keynote addresses to audiences of all sizes and industries. Since 2004, Mike Donnelly has been a contracted Disney Institute Facilitator, delivering Disney training to audiences across the United States.

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