Change is inevitable. Regardless of how people react to it, change is something necessary for the growth of an organization, an establishment, a team, or anything that requires development. Organizational change is an unpredictable phenomenon, and there’s no telling its effect on businesses if it is not handled properly.
We met with Koen Vanpraet, a business leader and client advocate, to ask him on how to lead a team through an organizational change.
With his vast professional business experiences and the fact that he has been involved in management consulting for small and large businesses for many years, Koen Vanpraet is undoubtedly in the best position to answer the questions.
- How Do You Get People on Board with organizational Change?
Koen Vanpraet: I believe that the only way to get anyone interested in or motivated towards a certain idea or phenomenon is to communicate it effectively. The same goes for something as delicate as organizational change; let the team know why there is a need for change in the first place.
You have to let them know what was wrong with the previous level at which the organization performed. Also, you have to convince them of what the change would entail for current team members and upper management.
- How do you implement this change throughout the team?
Koen Vanpraet: I normally start the change myself and adapt to it. Once that has happened, I begin the process of implementation.
I do this by ensuring that the change which has been communicated will be carried out.
- What tools and technologies do you think an organization needs for a successful change?
Providing a suggestion box can aid the change process since it allows the team members to ask questions about things beyond their understanding and make contributions where necessary.
Also, visual aids, as well as communication aids, are required during the change process. When people can visualize the results of a process, they are more inclined to go with it.
Additionally, digital communication tools help members frequently interact with one another to share information and exchange ideas.
- How do you prioritize tasks and responsibilities during change?
Koen: I usually study the tasks required for the change process. After that, I arrange them in the correct order. Afterward, I assign the tasks to my team members, one step at a time, so that everyone is carried along on the wave of the perceived change.
The tasks are usually assigned based on technical capabilities. Determining the strengths and weaknesses of all your team members is an important business management skill to have.
- What are the challenges an organization might face when undergoing a change, and what are the ways to overcome them?
Koen: The challenges faced may include:
- Inability to communicate change clearly to team members
- Lack of support and sponsorship from upper management
- Conflict among team members due to resistance to change
- Failure of execution since members are not fully equipped to carry out their new responsibilities.
Ways to overcome these challenges include:
- Creating an effective communications strategy to help in dispersing information.
- Educate and explain the need for change.
- Establish a committee to help members transition smoothly into the new era of change.
- Providing resources to aid with new responsibilities gives the right job to the right person.
- Learn continuously to become a masterful business leader.