My Top 3 Tips to Manage Change

Over the past 20 years I have helped design and implement more than 1,000 change projects into private enterprise. These are the three tips I give all my clients at the beginning.

So if you find that “Project Management Sucks” or “Your Strategy Days are a Waste of Time“, then I hope these are direct and valuable. You might also consider subscribing to my newsletter for more advice from experience.

1. “In advance is an explanation, in arrears is an excuse”

Change is hard, so the natural tendency of an entrepreneur is to move fast and shield the team from the difficulty. This fails, because when the team inevitably has to engage with the change they run into all the challenges anyway. And then the entrepreneur is forced to explain why things aren’t perfect, which sounds like a lot of excuses and justification.

When you explain the change journey up front, being clear about why it is important and what difficulties might be faced along the way, then your team become allies in the experience. The sooner you engage your team, the better the process and faster the result.

2. “Pushback is Positive”

Many entrepreneurs are discouraged during a project when the team resist the change. They need to flip their mindset, and recognise that pushback from the team is a sign that they are engaging with the change.

Most team members will ignore ideas, especially if they work for an entrepreneur who has a new squirrel to chase every day. Pushback means they finally believe this change is real, which is a positive sign for the organisation.

3. “Don’t Copy the Wrong Homework”

Too many entrepreneurs decide to change based on what works for another business, without understanding how their own business may be different.

Think of the tech founder on a podcast talking about his ping pong tables, without mentioning the years of hard work and zero sales that led him there – and suddenly other business owners think a ping pong table is the solution to their revenue woes!

As you go through the change process, continue to convey to your management team why this is the right change for your unique business. And avoid them or you being distracted by other shiny objects which are not relevant to your needs right now.

Have you been guilty of making any of those mistakes in the past?

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