Step 3 – How good could it be, if we all pulled in the same direction.

Step 3 Gain Consensus for Change

In Step 1 and Step 2 we identified what improvement to take forward.

In Step 3 we need to share these improvements with key staff and stakeholders who will deliver change, manage new practices, and receive new products or services. This step is often rushed due to the pace of change. Poor people management at this stage can impact badly on your business.

There are many issues to consider. For example staff and stakeholders may have to adapt to new behaviours due to changes in culture. They may not agree with the proposed way forward because it may undermine their current position and authority. They may have to take on new roles and responsibilities which put them outside their comfort zones. These sorts of issues raise lots of questions, create resistance to change, lower morale and increase stress and anxieties levels. Managed well, this step can save a great deal of time, effort and money.

Step 3 is an opportunity to channel effort into making change acceptable to all parties. It involves leadership, discussion, listening, negotiation, empathy, compromise and re-assessment, resulting in an agreed understanding of the way forward. It helps to start moving people through common reactions to change: shock, denial, anger and depression. It can be achieved by a combination of one-to-one meetings, team meetings and interactive consensus workshops designed to build ownership and create a common vision and commitment to the change.

 

Here are some ideas:

  • Involve, empower and support stakeholders
  • Communicate upwards and downwards
  • Explain the reasoning behind change
  • Listen and act on the concerns of stakeholders
  • Listen and act on the ideas of stakeholders
  • Test and improve your ideas
  • Discover/remove barriers to change e.g. organisational, infrastructure, environmental
  • Build momentum and confidence in the change
  • Manage those who oppose change