What does it mean to be a Man or Woman of Change in the Workplace?
Change occurs all the time. People change as they advance in age, when they are put in new situations and even when they have new people enter their lives. Change is really a natural occurrence in life. However, there is sometimes a misconception that change does not occur in the workplace. I’m here to tell you that it does and it is just as important as the changes you undergo in any other situation.
You may have been selected by your superiors to initiate and introduce changes in your workplace. You may have also made a decision to make a mark in your organization by making some vital changes on your own. Whatever way your role of making a change in your workplace came about, one thing is for sure: you have an onerous and challenging task ahead of you.
Your first step in becoming a man or woman of change in the workplace is by having a full understanding of the peculiarities of your organization and matching your initiative and drive to those needs. This goes beyond just adopting the most recent management strategy. You need to have acknowledge and understand that causing a meaningful change is more about bringing a desired change in the behavior of people, rather you’re your surroundings. It is not fundamentally about rearranging the organizational structure or installing a new system. If people do not work and behave differently in the presence of one another then the time and effort spent in effecting change will be wasted, and forgotten.
Management and leadership skills such as planning, having a clear vision, providing feedback, prioritizing and rewarding success are major factors in bringing about any successful change. Focus your attention on the skills that will enable you to not only get individuals on board, but to also stay on board by remaining interested and invested in the current project and beyond. Getting in touch with a training consultant or mentor to help you carry out a credible gap analysis on your skill set will benefit you greatly, and subsequently strengthen your leadership and coaching abilities.
Whatever change you are initiating, a key area to pay attention to is the identification and management of the stakeholders of your change agenda. A stakeholder here is anybody who has an interest in the change agenda which you pursue, or the outcome of it. The stakeholders of your change agenda will bring along a mixture of competing interest and will tend to act in the interest of their own survival, influence and power. Another challenge here for you as a man or woman of change is that such maneuvering is usually disguised as rational and impartial argument.
Consider who your major stakeholders are. Think of what you will say and how you will act around them to get them on your side. When you have made sure of this, draw up a stakeholder communication plan and follow it thoroughly.
Lastly, an important activity you should not neglect in your quest for change in your workplace is setting measurable and clearly defined objectives and goals. Correctly setting your goals will engage stakeholders and cause them to make commitments to your change agenda.