15 Steps to Engaging People in Change

15 Steps to Engaging People in Change

If it weren’t for the people, this change business would be easy!

It has been argued that managing change is 80% people stuff and only 20% process. We have seen great change processes come to nothing and great transformations that had very little rational process and structure – it just happened.

And actually when you think of management in general, most of your focus is (and should be) on the people and figuring out how you can enable your people to do their best.

It is the same with change management. It is invariably the messy, emotional people stuff that gets in the way of a beautifully crafted and executed change management project. More specifically, the things that go through people’s minds about the change.

There are three core dimensions to managing change:

  • realising and exposing the gaps between where you are and where you want to be.
  • digging into the individual and organisational mindset on change in general and the gap in particular.
  • designing a process that will navigate the transformation and bring people along on a journey of continuous improvement.

And there are 15 steps to take to manage a specific change, and in the process create a culture that will foster a willingness in people to continually improve and adapt. Importantly, these steps are iterative – they are not necessarily sequential. The nature of the gap will shift as each new perspective is added to the pool of thought around it; the goal might even shift and the strategies for achieving the goal will most certainly evolve.

This is because: to engage people – I mean really engage them, you have to be genuinely open to how they view the situation and what alternative ideas they bring. In this way you will find what Covey called the ‘third alternative’.

I have prepared a short paper setting out these steps. Use these as your check list to make sure you are setting yourself up for success in any change project.


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