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Managing Change: Keep Your Cool When Things Get Rough

29/01/2014

Whatever happens in the future, you can be certain that it’s going to be different from how things are today. In fact, the only certain thing about the future is that the future is very uncertain indeed. So what are you supposed to do about it? Quite simply, make sure that you have a process in place for managing change. There are a few things you can do to make sure that your process stays on track, and I've compiled some sound advice for you here.

Remain Transparent

A lot of times when you are forced to change something in your organisation, people will wonder why you’ve made that change. And, people being people, they may suspect that your intentions are less than honourable. Unfortunately, avoiding change altogether is not an option, so the next best way to avoid untoward speculation and unrest within an organisation is to be totally transparent. Let everyone know your reasons for change and the changes you plan to make, and your employees will feel more like a part of the organisation, and will be more likely to co-operate with the changes.

Maintain a Strong View of your End Goals

It’s vital to know where you’re going, and keep your end goals in sight. The most important thing about managing change is to have a strong sense of direction, so you know which way to take the change. Effectively, if you know exactly what you hope to achieve from the change, it will be much easier to plan each step of the journey and modify your plan to suit the current situation. Secondly, keeping a clear view of your end step makes it easier to communicate your vision to other people in the organisation. If your views are clear-cut and straight-forward, they will be easy to communicate and easy for other people to understand.

Practice Flexibility

Just because you have a strong vision and transparent methods, you can’t just assume that you’ll be able to forge ahead and follow your plan to the end. The thing about change is that, well, it changes. Your plan may have made sense at the beginning of the change, but by the end your plan might no longer line up with reality. Be prepared to modify the plan when necessary, and accept that by the end it might not be the same thing it was at the beginning.

Ultimately, running a business is basically the act of managing a permanent state of change. It’s strange, difficult, exciting, and always a surprise, but if you can keep on top of things it’s worth the struggle.