Seven Tips For NFPs To Master Change Management
29 May 2014 at 11:12 am
In a changing environment, leaders in the For Purpose sector require a distinctive set of capabilities to thrive at managing change – writes Westpac Social Sector Banking’s National Marketing Manager Lali Wiratunga.
Change in any organisation is a process. If this concept is agreed, it follows that managing change requires consideration at an organisational and an individual level.
The following is a list of guiding principles for change management – for both the organisation and the individual. If For-Purpose leaders consider these, they could be adopted as a framework for managing personal change and provide guidance on how to engage the entire organisation in the change process.
1. Your team is the life ‘blood’ of your organisation – be methodical in your approach to ‘people’ matters
Any change journey, no matter how small and irrespective of what part of your organisation creates “people issues”.
Leaders may change roles, acquire new responsibilities, role descriptions may change, new skills may need to be acquired or developed and there could be resistance to change felt amongst your volunteers and staff.
Reactive management to the challenges may put the intended outcomes of the change or transformation at risk and furthermore result in a decline in morale.
Managing change strategically starts with your organisation’s leadership team and should progress by involving the broader team – it should start early and be a dialogue that progresses within the organisation.
The following actions are suggested:
a. Data driven decision-making to support the HR manager;
b. Integrate change management activities into your program design from the outset; and
c. Conduct an assessment on your organisation’s capacity for change.
Gayle Osborne, Education Specialist and Consultant to the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation suggests guidance on leading your team through change.
“Engage and involve your staff early in the change process. Understanding the reasons for change, how the change will be implemented, the support provided for staff throughout the process. This will inform and motivate the staff to actively participate,” she says.
2. Start with the person in the mirror
Change can be unsettling – and managing change takes leadership at all levels. So where should change start, who should be ready to adopt new approaches, challenge the status quo and provide guidance and motivation?
The leadership team in any For-Purpose organisation should model the desired behaviours.
They should be unified in their approach across the organisation – speaking with one voice.
The leadership team is of course made up of individuals who themselves may need support to manage the challenge of change.
3. Create an inspiring dialogue of change for everyone in the organisation
Realising change requires dialogue at all levels. The purpose of the dialogue is to inspire action – leaders will ultimately be responsible for implementation.
This may be of a new program to support existing beneficiaries or a new social enterprise venture to create alternative revenue streams to help sustain your organisation’s social impact.
The keys to success:
a. Alignment to the organisation’s vision;
b. Resourced and empowered by leadership to take action;
c. The motivation to effect the change.
4. Develop a compelling case for change
Your people, the future change agents, may question the rationale for change. Their buy-in and acceptance is critical to making the change happen.
Articulating the case for why change is needed now is important and should include:
a. a business case and outlining the need for change, which also outlines what would occur were the change initiative not undertaken;
b. a vision for the future and the ensuring benefits;
c. a demonstration that the leadership has the capability and capacity to deliver this vision;
d. a roadmap to support decision-making on the change journey ahead.
5. Create a Change Champions Network
A change management journey could involve long, multi-tracked series of programs that lead up to the implementation of change.
The change leader should influence and empower others to take ownership and enable the change – this could be through a change champions network.
In Robert B. Cialdini's Harvard Business Review article, Harnessing the Science of Persuasion, six key principles of influence are cited that should be every change leader’s toolkit (the article is available online, see link below).
6. Communicate to take people on the journey with you
The need for change may not be self-evident to your people. Establishing a principle of inclusion, that everyone everywhere should be enabled to participate in the change requires the power of communication.
There are five communications flows in organisations and for the change to be effective all should be leveraged:
a. Downward: from management to staff with specific communication objectives, specific messages and utilising the most effective channels; to support staff motivation and engagement;
b. Upward: leads to a more committed and loyal workforce in an organization because staff are given a voice and able to raise issues with management;
c. Lateral: communication between peers, can facilitate co-operation in the change journey;
d. Diagonal: refers to communication between a manager and employees of other teams and can allow for faster dissemination of information;
e. External: with external groups – suppliers, partners, customers, is vital for relationship management and advocacy creation.
With all communications channels involving staff, there should be a clear link made between what they do and the longer-term outcome, even those who do not directly interact with program beneficiaries or customers (who may ultimately benefit from the change in progress).
7. Culture is the fuel that drives the performance of your organisation
As a For Purpose organisation – performance may be measured in terms of lives changed not widgets sold.
If you agree that culture is everything to drive your performance, then it follows that your organisation’s culture is critical to understand your readiness to change.
The starting point for leader’s may be to understand their organisation’ culture. Strategy & (formerly Booz & Company) have some tools and information on organisational culture (see link below).
About Westpac Social Sector Banking: Westpac Social Sector Banking is committed to the For Purpose sector, and can proudly say we have a national team of dedicated specialists and customised banking solutions to service the sector. The sole aim of our bankers located across Australia is to deliver better banking experiences for Social Sector customers. For more information, visit www.westpac.com.au/socialsectorbanking
About Westpac Bicentennial Foundation: Awarding 100 scholarships a year forever – to back the next generation of Australia’s leaders. This is Australia’s largest ever private education scholarship fund. For more information, visit www.westpac.com.au/200years
- Jim Collins, author of Good to Great;
- For Your Improvement: A Guide for Development and Coaching by Michael M. Lombardo & Robert W. Eichinger;
- Change Management Learning Centre;
- Harnessing the Science of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini (Harvard Business Review);
- Organisational Culture from Strategy&.