5 Things You Should Never Do In Change Management

Adriana Girdler

Yet you do….so listen up! Change is the one thing we can always count on. So why is it the last thing we prepare for …

Yet you do….so listen up!

Change is the one thing we can always count on. So why is it the last thing we prepare for in the business world? Over the years of helping organizations with improving their organizational effectiveness, I’ve observed what you should NEVER do when implementing ANY type of change in your organization. The great thing is this list is good for both small and large changes. Once size does fit all in this case!

What not to do

#1- Say things once and expect everyone knows what’s going on. This is the kiss of death for any change. Expecting that everyone understands information the first time around is like believing that the tooth fairy exists. Ask yourself this question, how many times have you been busy doing something when something was being communicated to you and after the conversation you really didn’t know exactly what was said? (Probably because you were too busy checking email on your iPhone when you should have been paying attention!) If you were honest with yourself, you probably answered “Lots of times”. So why are YOU expecting that everyone will be fine with just one communication notice. The best way to combat this is to OVER-COMMUNICATE in many different ways so your message will filter down to everyone. Repeating your change message many times, in many ways, and over a period of time will help solve this number one don’t.

#2- Assume everyone understands why you’re doing this. Getting to your final decision of the potential change probably took you some time. You probably needed to consult with your inner circle to get different ideas and perspective. So what made you decide on the final outcome? It may be clear in your head and in the head of others who were part of the initial discussion. But for Suzy or Bob in a different department or lower down the totem pole, they will have no clue why this is all happening. Ensure you tell the story of why the change is occurring. People just want to be in the loop. Give them the courtesy of the why and they will support your change. Make sure you tell your ‘why’ story many times.

#3- Realize half way through the project that you need a change management plan.  Any change (big or small) in your organization needs to have some organized thoughts around how it will impact the people who will be experiencing the change. This is a big reason why great ideas can sometimes become a bust at implementation. Make it a habit that whenever you’re embarking on a new project or idea, add a ’change management’ section to your project plan and think about it from the beginning.

#4- Don’t have leadership buy-in towards your change management plan. Yes, leaders are busy, but the ‘tone’ from the top is critical. If they don’t fully support your plan, which probably has them involved in some way, then it will be harder for you to execute what needs to get done. So plan and engage the leadership early. This will give you the needed time to get proper leadership buy-in, and the time needed to tweak things based on leadership feedback.

#5- Don’t forget that change can be fun. Change is not a bad word. Remember it’s the only thing you can count on so why not embrace it. Have some fun with it. Be creative when engaging people and they will be more likely to respond positively and most importantly remember the change.  Think of things that engage you and replicate them. Have a contest, do a treasure hunt, or have a quiz show in the cafeteria. The point here is that change is neutral; it is how you address it that makes it positive or negative.

If you deal with people then you will deal with change management. Understanding how people react to change and what works to engage them in the change will make your idea more likely to succeed and be sustained. Take a reflective look at how you manage change. Do you perform any one of these ‘don’ts? If yes, remember, change is constant so change yourself today. Change is a good thing when done well.

What positive change initiatives have you experienced in your professional career? Thanks for reading don’t forget to share/tweet/like our blog just underneath this paragraph. And don’t forget, we’re always here to help with your business efficiency needs.

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Adriana Girdler is a project manager, productivity specialist, entrepreneur, professional speaker, facilitator, visioning wizard, and author. As President of CornerStone Dynamics, Adriana is one of Canada’s prominent business productivity and project management specialists—helping both individuals and businesses do what they do, only better. She is a certified master black belt lean six sigma with over 20 years’ experience improving how companies work.

She also holds both PMP (project management professional) and CET (certified engineering technologist) designations. She’s a Tedx speaker, as well as a HuffPost and Thrive Global contributor. She has been interviewed on Global, CBC, CTV, CHCH, 680News Radio, Newstalk 1010, Sirius XM and published in the Globe and Mail and numerous industry magazines. WANT ADRIANA'S FREE ONLINE TRAINING? In 45 min, learn Adriana's 5 project management secrets she use on EVERY project. Sign up for the Free Webinar here: THE FAB FIVE FUNDAMENTALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT

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