Tag: Change Management

How to Gain Support for Change From Your Team

How to Gain Support for Change From Your Team

It is vitally important to make sure that all team members are on board with a change.

Gathering Data to Support the Change

In order to continue increasing awareness and to build desire to support the upcoming change; the management team must reach out to the team. The force field analysis, developed by German social psychologist Kurt Lewin helps a change management team to:

  • Identify pros and cons of an option prior to making a decision
  • Explore what is going right — and what is going wrong
  • Analyze any two opposing positions.

Related: Decision Making Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Addressing Concerns and Issues About the Change

If concerns or issues arise in the team, then steps must be taken to ensure awareness is continually raised and that desire to support the change is increased. Strategies that can help the change management team responsively address team’s concerns include:

  • Engaging team members, providing forums for people to express their questions and concerns
  • Equipping managers & team leaders to be effective change leaders and managers of resistance
  • Orchestrating opportunities for advocates of the change to contact those team members not yet on board
  • Aligning incentive and performance management systems to support the change.

Evaluating and Adapting

Change is not exempt from Murphy’s Law. And even if something isn’t going wrong, change management team members must constantly be observing, listening, and evaluating the progress and process during a change.

A feedback form can be used to gather information from those involved in a change to help shape the remaining course of the change project. Instead of a paper form, feedback can be obtained through online surveys (Zoomerang.com or Survey Monkey.com), an in-house questionnaire on the intranet, a few questions sent by email, or a focus group. The questions will vary depending upon the subject being queried.

The compiled results of the feedback forms can be used by the change management team members to modify the project plan and/or the communication plan or to work with specific members of the team that may be providing roadblocks to success.

Leading Status Meetings

The team leader must make sure that the project and communication plan remain on track. They need to identify, and explore any issues from the team members that have emerged, and review and consider any feedback gathered to date.

Acting as a facilitator, the leader helps to bring about learning and productivity. Communication will be a byproduct of this by providing indirect or unobtrusive assistance, guidance, and supervision.

He or she listens actively, asks questions, encourages diverse viewpoints, organizes information, helps the team reach consensus, and understands that the individual needs of team members will affect teamwork.

The LEAD model provides a simple methodology for facilitating a participative meeting:

Lead with objectives:  When clear objectives are stated up front, group energy is channeled toward achieving an outcome. The objectives shape the content of the meeting.

Empower to participate: In the Lead model, the facilitator is empowered to encourage active participation.

Aim for consensus: Getting the team to consensus will have members more likely to support and carry out the decisions of the team.

Direct the process: How the meeting progresses will influence the quality of the decisions of the team, and influences the commitment of team members.

Team leaders must differentiate between process and content. Content includes the topics, subjects, or issues; process is about how the topics, subjects, or issues are addressed.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Celebrating Successes

Because communications from managers and team leaders have been shown to have a significant impact on team members during a change initiative, it is appropriate that they be actively involved in celebrating success with the team members as a result of positive performance. Celebrations can occur on three levels:

  1. One on one conversation: In a private meeting, a team leader should attest to the fact that due to the team member’s effort, a change was made, and how it is succeeding. He or she should extend verbal thanks to the team member.
  2. Public recognition: Public recognition officially acknowledges outstanding performance and points out a role model that helped make a successful change happen. Team leaders should carefully consider who receives recognition, and not alienate team members who participated in the change but who many not have distinguished themselves significantly.
  3. Team celebrations: Fun or engaging team activities are used to celebrate key milestones by a group. They include buffet or restaurant lunches, dinner events, or can include group outings to sports, amusement, or cultural events. It is important that these types of celebrations try to include the involvement of the primary change sponsor in some way.

Sharing the Results and Benefits of the Change

In order to sustain the impact of a change, it is important for everyone who is involved in the process to know what results are occurring. This occurs across a number of dimensions. Ongoing feedback is needed from team members at all levels.


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How to Lead Your Team Through Change

How to Lead Your Team Through Change

Every change in the team begins with a leadership decision. Making the decision to institute changes is not always easy. Being prepared, planning well, and being surrounded by a good team will make that decision a lot easier.

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Preparing and Planning for Change in Your Team

Begin by putting yourself in a positive frame of mind. You are likely to experience higher than normal levels of stress and knowing this beforehand will give you the ability to be prepared mentally and you will be the anchor person and the foundation, and with your steady hand will guide your team through the stressful events. Be a reassuring and active force throughout the whole process.

It is impossible to prepare for every contingency, but planning for the known is a must. Add time or extra room in the schedule for the unknowns.When you encounter an unexpected event, your schedule should not off by much if you have built in some leeway. It will provide that buffer that gives you and your team the ability to deal with the unknowns and keep rolling with the change process.

Delegating to Other Team Members

Surround yourself with people in the team that you can delegate to and be confident in their abilities and skills. Be precise and specific with your directions as when the change process begins you will be depending on these individuals and their talents. Communicating and providing feedback are the keys to successful delegation; make sure your team understands this. If communication fails or there is not accurate feedback the chances of a success are lessened.

An issue that sometimes arises when delegating is micro-managing. Keep an eye out to not micro-manage as you can quicklylose track of events and it will take time away from your main duties. Delegating is a skill that takes time as you must first learn the strengths and weakness of your team and know what tasks you can and cannot hand out. It may not be possible to always delegate, but when it can, it will provide a great resource.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open in the Team

Always be available during the change process. Before the change prepare your friends and family that you may not be available for social events. Reassure your team that you are there for them and you are here to provide them with the necessary resources to lead them through the change. Stress to them that you are available and focused on keeping the communications lines open.

Always be aware of rumors, they will happen before, during and after the change. Do not ignore any rumor, put out honest and clear communication as soon as possible. Reassure your team that if they hear a rumor to seek out more information from a reliable source. Remind them that spreading rumors helps no one and will cause more harm than good.

Related: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Coping with Push-back from the Team

Not everyone in the team will agree on the change. Keep in mind that these types of feelings are normal as people generally do not enjoy change and are sometimes made nervous by it. You will likely encounter push-back and resistance by some team members.

Provide facts and data to show why the change is happening and reassure them the need and benefits of the change. These types of individuals are best suited to be educated bout the change with information. If you are encountering an extreme case of push-back in your team, provide them with some choices that still fall within the spectrum of the intended change. They should then feel more involved in the process and it will help alleviate the negative mindset they may be experiencing.

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Help Your Team Deal With Change by Identifying the WIFM

Help Your Team Deal With Change by Identifying the WIFM

For change to be successful, the team members must desire to support and participate in the change. Simply building awareness does not generate desire. Showing the team what is in it for them will produce a great starting point and help generate support. The beginning of the change process is very important and showing the affected parties how the change will improve their environment will initiate the process on the right foot.

What’s in it for Me?

In order to answer the question “What’s in it for Me?”, or WIFM, change management leadership must create energy and engagement around the change. This builds momentum, and instills support at all levels of the organization. Factors that influence WIFM are:

  • The nature of the change
  • The organizational context for the change
  • A team member’s personal situation
  • What motivates the team member as an individual?

Building Support

Effective communications are essential for building support throughout the team.

Whoever communicates with the team members impacted by a change must have a clear understanding of the overall nature of the change, its reasons, and how it aligns with the vision for the team. He or she must understand the risks of not changing, the timing of the change, and what people will be most impacted by the change.

Related: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Communications options are many, including email, presentations, postings on the organization’s intranet, flyers and circulars, banners, online or phone conferences, and special social events.

Beforehand, communicators should identify and segment audience groups, craft messages appropriate for each audience, and determine the most effective packaging, timing, and methods for communicating.

  • Executive sponsorship
  • Coaching by managers and team leaders
  • Ready access to business information


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How to Manage a Team to Success

How to Manage a Team to Success

Managing a team is a complex process, but developing your management skills will help you become an effective team leader who achieves significant results. Pay careful attention to talent management, change management and organizational management.

Talent Management

Talent management differs from employee management in the development process. Rather than abandoning team members to tasks, team leaders develop employee talent to benefit the team. Studies have shown that talent management can increase productivity and decrease turnover. There are many different strategies involved in talent management. Below, you will find a few strategies that will improve employee development and increase productivity.


  • Mentor: Develop mentorship programs, and team up new team members with more experienced ones.
  • Invest: Invest in effective training programs that develop individuals and make them feel valued.
  • Communicate: Communicate effectively, which involves active listening and being open and honest.
  • Evaluate: Choose tools and measures to evaluate the effectiveness of your strategies such as surveys, employee feedback, productivity, etc.

Change Management

Change is inevitable in any organization. Unfortunately, human beings are not wired to accept change easily, so tensions may run high as people resist changes. You can help alleviate the stress associated with change with effective change management. Smoothly implementing change will reduce lost productivity as well as improve workplace culture.

The Process:

  1. Prepare:
  • Define the change: Identify the change, communicate with the team, and assess the needs as well as potential resistance.
  • Choose a team: Find team members to lead the change.
  • Sponsor: Determine how leadership will actively sponsor the change.
  1. Manage:
  • Develop plans: Create a change management plan and communicate the details.
  • Act: Implement the change management plan, and continue to communicate the expectations.
  1. Reinforce:
  • Analyze change: Use surveys and feedback to determine success.
  • Manage resistance: Understand the causes, look for gaps, and communicate the need for acceptance.
  • Correct or praise: Praise team members who implement change effectively, and give corrective actions for resistance.

Organizational Management

Organizational management is unique to each team, depending on structure. It assumes that each singular element is linked to others. The individual unit as a whole must be managed effectively. It requires planning that will lead to team goals.

In organizational management, each team member needs to be part of the plan. You begin with a wide scale plan, and work your way down to the individual team member level. The responsibilities outlined in the plan should fall along the organizational structure of the company. The structure is what links the different positions. For example, there may be regional managers, divisional managers, departmental managers, and team leaders who oversee different teams. The plan should reflect the distinct divisions. When this is done correctly, all team members will understand the expectations on them and how they contribute to the success of the company.


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Building a Resilient Team

Building a Resilient Team
Image Source: nick fullerton

Resiliency is the ability to endure high levels of change while maintaining a high level of performance. There are commonly two things that resilient people do to increase their ability to manage change successfully. They either increase their capacity to absorb shock, or they work on reducing the amount of effort needed to successfully implement any one change.

Related: Resilience Outcome Based Team Building Activities

What is Resiliency?

Rather than an absolute characteristic, resilience is a combination of character traits in people. Resilient people tend to see more opportunities than non-resilient people. They tend to see life’s challenges and changes as beacons guiding them through life. They have an optimistic view of life that see each day as a new set of opportunities and choices. To them any disruption is merely a necessary part of adjusting to change. Less resilient people are likely to use defense mechanisms such as denial, distortion and delusions when faced with change. They tend to be reactive where resilient people are more proactive and willing to ask for help when needed.

Why is Resiliency Important for Your Team?

A Resilient team tends to grow stronger from the experience when they are confronted with the ambiguity, anxiety and loss of control that accompanies change. A team that is not resilient will tend to feel depleted from all the emotions that come with change. Resilient team members are able to make quicker and more effective adaptation to change. They understand that the future contains shifting variables, and are willing to remain loyal during periods of disruption. The individual members of your team may shift between sides of the resilience continuum, depending on the nature of the change experienced.

Practical Steps to Build Resiliency in Your Team

  • Help your team members to develop a more positive world view and self-image. Be aware of what you say to yourself and your team in an unfamiliar situation. Teach your team to identify opportunities in the challenges they face during a period of change. Get them to practice the habit of turning negatives into positives and taking a time out during a period of frustration. Make sure that you always stay positive as leader or coach of your team.
  • Maintain a sense of purpose towards the long term goals and priorities of your team. Get together with your team and discuss the team’s value system and sense of direction. Teach your team to be flexible and set new priorities when faced with disruption or change.
  • Encourage flexible thinking in your team so that they are able to explore different approaches for addressing uncertainty. Teach your team members not to assume that the first answer is the solution and to suspend judgment while they are experiencing change. Encourage the team members to record at least three negatives and three positives about every new idea or concept. You also want to encourage readiness in your team members to work in an unfamiliar role and to learn a different point of view.
  • Teach your team to use organized and structured approaches towards managing ambiguity. They should learn to quickly and effectively sort new information and find patterns in new situations. Encourage the use of planners and planning software to keep to-do lists, track plans, commitments and next steps for each change initiative. Help them to break down complex or ambiguous situations into manageable chunks.
  • Let your team experiment proactively with new approaches and solutions. Choose a small project and experiment with a new approach. Challenge your team by defining a worst-case scenario and asking them to list ways to address each risk. Find a successful risk-taker to talk to your team about their objections and concerns regarding change. Encourage your team to view a risk associated with change as a “win-win” situation and to determine what they can learn from each risk associated with change.


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How to Help Your Team Understand Change

Change is constant, and it is essential for your team to understand the nature of change. The effect of change on the individual influences all aspects of the team. Change often creates fear and uncertainty in a team; the members of your team need to understand the nature of change. They need to know what to expect when change happens and how to prepare for it.

Help Your Team Understand Change
Image Source:  GollyGforce

Causes of Change

The causes of change can either be internal or external. All teams are subject to external forces that are constantly interacting with its existence. Team members usually have little control over external factors such as politics, economics, technology, culture and societal changes. It is vital for them to understand that if the change is due to external factors, they need to accept the change and modify any internal processes affected by the external influence.

There are a wide range of internal factors influencing change that can include almost any item or event within a team. Some of the likely internal influences include policies, team structure, leadership and finances. Internal influences to changes can be controlled, and you can prepare your team for the outcomes of such events. Tools such as education, communication, training and support will help mitigate negative outcomes which may arise as a result of the change.

How People React to Change

Individuals react differently to change and understanding the different reactions to change will help you in managing changes. The following are some of the most common ways that people react to change.

  • Anger – Change can sometimes cause people to experience anger. Some team members may lash out and become uncooperative when confronted with change. Humans find comfort in their habits and changes may cause inner conflict which can manifest as anger.
  • Resistance – There will always be resistance to change that stems from a fear of the unknown. The fear of the unknown during the process of change may often lead to strong resistance within a team.
  • Indifference – Some of the members of the team may not care, or think the changes do not have much impact on their tasks. These individuals may be indifferent because they do not understand or accept the change.
  • Denial – Some of the team members may believe that the change is not required. These individuals may be reluctant to listen to – or deny – any information presented to support the change.
  • Acceptance – These team members realize that changes usually are for the better and can have a positive influence on the team. Acceptance may not happen right away but should happen quicker than if changes are experienced as negative.

Tools to Facilitate the Change Process

Preparing your team for the changes will increase the likelihood that the changes will be successfully implemented. The following are some tools that you can use to help facilitate the change process and deal with any negative reactions that may occur.

  • Education – Educate your team members on the reasons for the change and what the expected outcomes will be. People like to know why changes occur and educating your team members will clear up any rumors that may have spread.
  • Communication – It is vital to keep the channels of communication open during and after changes have occurred. Open communication will help with any unforeseen events that may arise. See also: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities
  • Training – Keep your team members trained to ensure they have the necessary skills to cope with the changes.
  • Flexibility – When change is planned for not all events can be foreseen. Be flexible and ready to revise or update the current plan to account for any unforeseen events.
  • Affected Parties – It is especially beneficial to have the individuals that are involved in the change participate in the change process. They may be able to shed light into the subject from an expert’s point of view.


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