The only constant you can count on is change. If you're in a leadership capacity, it might be a good idea to heed to the advice of change management gurus when it comes to engaging your employees.
Managing change in an organization takes on many dimensions. Depending on the nature and urgency of the need to change, it can involve behavioral, organizational, structural, functional, technological, or procedural planned changes (Judith R. Gordon). Moreover, the degree or urgency of the organizational change varies on the particular situation. Sometime the organizational change can be a slight policy change. On the other extreme, a more radical response is required (Gordon). A good example of the latter would be a venture backed start-up organization that is lucky enough to get a "green light" for a restart from the board (a/k/a second chance). In this scenario, you can typically see the leadership team pay the ultimate price.
Change by nature creates conflicts, which in turn create opposing forces against the intended changes. Ironically, opposing forces come from employees perceptions stemming from lack of information. In short, misperceptions are one of the root causes for opposing forces.
Regardless of the dimension of the change, I agree with Phred Dvorak's perspective from his March 19, 2007
March 19, 2007
- Get you employees involved in the decision making process. Get them to understand the constraint, problem, situation, or need for whatever improvement you are seeking to make. More importantly, get them involved in the solution. In doing so, they become stakeholders. As most studies show, asking someone's recommendation or advice goes a long way towards creating deep interest.
- Communicate the change plan. With increasing flat and remote workforce, clear communication is essential.
In the best or worst of circumstances, engagement is the best strategy to align the forces towards change.