Have you ever heard the phrase “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?” Anyone who has begun implementing organizational change can definitely relate to it.
You’ll run into pretty much every personality in the book as you set out on your journey to organizational change. So, what do you do when your meticulously-planned out path to success becomes an obstacle course of push backs and complacency?
This is when you dig down to the root of all your problems: your team members’ mindsets.
Implementing organizational change doesn’t have to be pulling teeth. Everyone just needs to be in the right mindset.
How Implementing Organizational Change Starts with Mindset:
Story time: I have three cute, fluffy dogs at home in Pennsylvania. Going on walks is generally a breeze… until my one dog, (overweight Maltese) inevitably puts the brakes on. You’ve seen it before: someone’s walking their dog on a leash and the pup will not budge. All weight forced to the back legs, the dog has no plans of moving, and the person has nowhere to go.
This is a visual representation of what it’s like implementing organizational change when your team members are not in the right mindset.
So how do you make the dog walk? Sometimes a little tug isn’t enough.
Sometimes you’ll need to lift her up and carry her for a short stretch to get her going with everyone else again.
So when you’re dealing with team members that aren’t on board with change, it’s important to remember that your guidance can help them enter a new mindset.
How to nurture your team’s mindset when implementing organizational change:
1. Communication: Make sure your team members a. feel comfortable enough or b. have the ability to communicate with you about the changes being made and how it may affect them. Worries may be short term or long term. Be there to explain the process of the change and what the end goal is. Make sure they know their communication is key for making this change happen as smoothly as possible. If you don’t know about their problems, you can’t help them solve any. This conversation will change their mindset about change. It will help them to realize that change is happening to better the business as well as its employees. It will show them that they can make a difference in the sculpting of new processes and methods. They will be more bought in.
2. Ownership: Change can be tough, especially when it’s forced. Give your team the ability to make decisions on what actions they take. Make sure they are an integral part in developing new processes and that you communicate adequately. Whether it’s testing out a new way to sell a product or just tracking some of their own data for the sake of the company, make sure your team is involved.
3. Headtrash: Over here at CFS, we talk a lot about headtrash. Our trainings and PlayBooks can create huge change for some sales reps. We’re used to working with companies that are in the middle of a whirlwind of change. The number one cause for a bad mindset around change is headtrash. Headtrash is all the junky ideas in your head that you create with no justification at all. “Oh, but what if the process doesn’t work?” “My clients will not be happy if I start calling them on Tuesdays instead of Fridays.” Or, “I’m just a junior sales rep, I can’t contribute to this meeting!”
All of this is exactly what destroys the mindset that is ready for implementing organizational change. Get rid of headtrash by having regular team meetings where everyone can discuss things that are outside of their comfort zones and why.
4. Celebrate: This might be the most important factor in creating a happy mindset about change. Change is hard work. Make sure you celebrate milestones with your team. No matter how large or small, celebrate when things go right because of new ideas and practices. Show them that their hard work counts and that it is appreciated. Celebrating is also a great opportunity for team building and fun!
At the end of the day, implementing organizational change can be exciting, or it can be as frustrating as an overweight dog with the brakes on!
Get your team in the right mindset with thorough planning, communication, and mentoring. Change is the catalyst for innovation. Without change, your company and employees cannot prosper.