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10 Ways Social Media Can Improve Change Management


Learning from The Best: Change Management


Change management is a restructuring strategy within an organization to achieve a desired outcome. Change management is people oriented and requires all levels of leadership – from executives to line leaders – to welcome change. When the process of change management is executed skillfully, the entire workforce moves toward a common goal as seen when new CEOs took over global giants like Yahoo!, Coca-Cola and Kodak.

In 2010, the Corporate Leadership Council (CLC) interviewed nearly 300 organizations worldwide about their redesign initiatives taking place over 18 months. After undergoing a reorganization, the companies reported only 60 percent hit their employee performance goals. The companies concluded these results were due to a workplace with an unclear decision-making authority, reduced collaboration or poor alignment between an employee’s interest and their new job. Similarly, a recent Bain & Company study of 57 reorganizations found that less than one third of the changes produced any meaningful improvement in performance.

Undeniably, change is difficult – especially when success requires all hands on deck. Below is a basic process of change management that when applied to an organization, will drive results.

Phase 1: Preparing for the change.

Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford Motor Company 2006-2014, led
Ford through restructuring during his tenure. 

Leaders should define a strategy and consult with the management team to develop a plan. The outcome should be a central goal that betters the organization. One company that prospered in this phase is Ford Motor Company who, under Alan Mulally’s control (Mulally retired from his position at Ford on July 1, 2014 following an 8 year tenure), developed a plan that not only mapped progress, but also listed the key decisions at each stage of the plan and the infrastructure needed to execute solutions effectively.

Phase 2: Managing change.

Implementing the plan is one of the most difficult phases – it requires stern inflexibility along with constant analysis, attention to detail and a system for identifying red flags that could potentially derail the organization. Again, Ford took to reorganization without fail. Ford moved through the entire company, transforming its structure from regional business units to a widespread global enterprise. This new system made the entire company more fluid, allowing leaders to make crucial decisions more effectively.

Ford did not head into change blindly though. As CEO, Mulally was hands on throughout the entire change process. He met weekly with his team to track progress and analyze the execution of decisions. By continuously meeting and analyzing the decision process, Ford was able to offset unnecessary brands, reduce spending and consolidate areas of the business.

Phase 3: Reinforcing change.

The final phase of change management requires analysis, instrumental diagnostics and celebration. Leaders, along with their teams, should collect and analyze feedback – consider employee surveys, brainstorming sessions, etc. This form of collective data allows an organization to diagnose gaps and implement corrective actions. Finally, given the effort and involvement of every leader within the company, there should be a celebration of change – whether it be a change in productivity, money or culture. A company that has successfully reorganized, like Ford, will still face obstacles, but using a well-planned, implemented and analyzed structure, it will transform into a more resilient powerhouse which will thrive in its industry.

 


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