Organizational change cannot be done in isolation: Steps to build a “Change Network”
Organizational change is challenging and cannot be done in isolation. Building support throughout the organization is a key ingredient to success. We are going to introduce you to five simple steps to build a “Change Network” and enlist the support of your stakeholders.
Start by identifying the groups impacted by the change
Work with your sponsor and project team to identify the groups impacted by the change (e.g., HR, Finance, Maintenance, Procurement, etc.). Next, review your organizational structure to determine—from each of those groups—who are the key stakeholders. These may include directors, managers, superintendents, etc.
Interview a select group of key stakeholders
Select a few key individuals to interview. Obtain a clear idea of their concerns, understanding of the change, and willingness to help. Pay close attention to what they have to say. Their feedback will inform your change management actions and allow you to classify them in a continuum of support-resistance (i.e., “champions,” “bystanders,” and “resisters”).
Set up your Change Network
Select a few individuals to form your Change Network. This is a group of individuals strategically positioned in the organization to help you reach out to a wider audience. Make sure you have representation from all groups impacted by the change and people with diverse perspectives. Don’t only choose to work with those that agree with you. The key is to pick influential people, regardless of their position and opinions, and keep them close to you.
Once your Change Network is set up, leverage it to “cascade” your messages. Start from the top and let the message trickle down the organization. Business-led communication is the most effective approach. When possible, leverage the managers of the impacted groups to deliver the message.
Keep your network engaged
Keep your network close to you by providing them with a little bit of extra “care.” Keep them informed and ahead of the knowledge curve. Provide them with actionable information and support them as required.