What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur

Initiating Change in an Organization

Written by Nidhi Ann Raj for Gaebler Ventures

Change is necessary but it will be met with resistance. The article deals with how to initiate and lead change.

Change or the act of doing things differently, is inevitable especially if you wish to remain competent in this ever changing, instable world.

Initiating Change in an Organization

As a company that has not been in the industry long enough, to be incapable of accommodating changes, your firm has a leading edge over older and well established firms. And you, being the owner, must shoulder the responsibility of initiating and implementing changes whenever needed, in order to survive and thrive well.

In order to bring about any change to the current state of affairs, you first need to identify the core areas of development in the company. This can be done effectively, only if you are actively involved in the daily affairs of the firm. As your company grows, this may sound difficult, but efficient leaders always keep a high level overview, if not on the intricate details, on all the key business units and their functioning.

You need to have regular meetings with all the team leads and managers to identify what changes are required to take your firm to the next level. These meetings also act as a reality check to fully understand where exactly the company stands, in terms of its goals and vision.

Initiating change, big or small, requires a lot of courage, and so it is essential to identify what changes are required on a priority basis and assess if it is worth taking the risk. Clearly document the change you propose, the benefits you expect with the change (both for the company and for your employees) and the possible effects of not implementing the change. Then identify each step in the change process, the implications and hot spots that can arise and practical solutions to overcome them.

Communicate these findings, first with the leads and managers and then with your entire staff. Welcome both positive and negative feedback with equal enthusiasm. Anticipate resistance and be prepared to address objections and concerns. This will make your employees feel that they are not being imposed upon to change, but are required to do so, for their own benefit.

Remember that resistance is not futile, it is simply natural. People who have become comfortable with the existing policies or who are experts in a particular technology will hesitate to accept something new and unknown. Make sure your team shares your belief in the upcoming change. If they don't, talk with them to understand their reasons for reluctance.

Many managers or business owners, imagine making radical changes in a short span of time. Little do they realise that if their team is not as excited about the change as they are, the change can get messy and end up in creating more issues and problems. Build support among the team by pointing out the long-term, wide-reaching benefits.

Try to make the transition as seamless as possible. Demonstrate ongoing commitment to the team and lead the change. If you notice people who tend to follow the old practices, talk to them more frequently and address the concern that is holding them back from embracing and adapting to the change. Give people enough time to accept the change gracefully without making them feel they have to because they do not have a choice. This is the sign of successful change- when its positive effects are seen at the individual, team and organizational levels.

Nidhi Ann Raj is a gifted writer who is currently pursuing post-graduate studies at George Brown College in Toronto Canada, where she is specializing in Marketing and Finance.

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