Systems & Process Improvement for
Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

Change Management for Making Changes Stick

You’ve made some big changes to get more efficient in your organization, and while those on your team were quick to take to the changes in the beginning, things have been sliding back to the way they were. Without good change management, you’ll have a tough time making new habits.

The team is going back to its old ways, undermining the changes that you’ve made that were intended to make everything better.  You yourself might be falling back a bit as well.  It’s a common occurrence, and there’s an entire discipline around change management to focus on making sure this doesn’t happen.

Humans are creatures of habit.  We do the same things over and over, year after year, and like to be comfortable.  When change is introduced, our natural inclination is to fight it and stay with what we know.  Even if the team accepts a change, things will go back to the way they were without a planned effort to make the new changes last.

Here are a few things to keep in mind to keep your changes around for the long haul.

  • Change management starts well before the change –  Don’t wait until the change happens before thinking about how you’re going to manage the change.  Change management should start as soon as possible.
  • Involve the people that will have to “live” the change –  Involve them in the decision making and in the journey of making the change.  This will help get their buy in to the changes and get them excited about making the switch.
  • Identify and document the benefits –  Having the benefits of the change in a sharable format will allow you to help others understand the importance of the change.
  • Put tracking in place – With the changes you’re planning, think about metrics that you could track related to the changes.  Monitoring these metrics will give you the ability to see if the changes are staying or if old habits are creeping back in.

By proactively thinking about managing the changes you’re making to improve your organization, you’re helping ensure the greatest likelihood of making lasting changes that will stick!

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