Luis Chanaga is a business leader who is passionate about inspiring change within organizations. In the following article, Luis Chanaga discusses how to successfully navigate organizational transitions in business.
Constant organizational change appears to be the “new norm,” giving leaders no choice but to adapt and help their teams warm to different working methods. From restructuring to financial issues to mergers, many events force managers to rethink their workforce.
Luis Chanaga says that the most successful leaders understand that change and transition necessitate more than merely coping; they require strategies to aid teams through redirection.
Successfully Navigating Organizational Transitions
As one of the most successful change management leaders explains, transitions consist of three stages — the ending, the neutral zone, and the all-new beginning. Leaders must acknowledge each stage at the appropriate time while deploying the relevant strategies.
Stage One: Accepting the Ending
Luis Chanaga explains that it isn’t often that the end is stage one. However, that’s precisely the case during organizational transitions. Leaders must help their teams honor and let go of the ending before arriving at acceptance.
Experiencing the change as an ending is easier said than done, but experts have put together three strategies for leaders to utilize.
- Admittance — Leaders must authentically and honestly admit to themselves and those around them that the change has happened.
- Informing — Next, they should contact all relevant people to learn more about the change. Being fully informed is a key part of accepting new circumstances.
- Gain notation — Finally, they must consider the losses and gains, upholding the mindset that changes aren’t right or wrong. They’re just different.
Stage Two: Living in Neutrality
Luis Chanaga says that for most employees, living in neutrality is the worst part of the entire transition. It can be littered with confusion — there’s a clear ending but no obvious beginning.
But leaders must harness the discomfort and use it to talk transparently, aiding individuals’ paths toward the new beginning using these strategies:
- Realization of discomfort — New processes aren’t perfect right off the bat, and it’s important for people to remember that. Uncertainty is an unavoidable stage in the transition.
- Setting short-term goals — As the beginning starts taking shape, making short-term goals can help employees move through uncertainty. It lets leaders understand the things that need to be achieved before the beginning can form.
- Looking backward and forward — Acknowledging what came before is just as important as looking forward to the possibilities change could create.
- Value connection — Personal values should be guiding principles throughout uncertainty and confusion.
Stage Three: Reaching New Beginnings
Leaders should’ve established clarity during stage two, increasing the likelihood that teams accept the challenge of moving forward in a different environment. So, upon arriving at this stage, it should feel like a fresh start according to Luis Chanaga.
That said, settling in is bound to be challenging. Thus, well-established professionals employ these strategies to accelerate the process:
- Meeting new people — While learning the changed ropes, leaders should give everybody a place in the new environment to increase the sense of involvement and belonging.
- Strategy creation — When there is change, new problems are bound to surface. Thus, leaders must re-emphasize the change’s reason and craft methods to solve never-seen-before challenges.
- Success markers — Small win acknowledgment is integral to keeping everybody ticking forward. It lets employees know they’re on the right path and prevents passiveness or too-strong emotional outbursts.
Luis Chanaga also says that the transition process is normal, but it varies in many ways. Leaders must handle their own uncertainties, becoming less resistant to new working methods.
Leading People Through Changes and Transitions
Naturally, people’s attitudes toward change differ drastically. Those most affected by it could experience strong emotional responses, triggering different behaviors. Perhaps the most common symptom is change fatigue — an apathy or resignation towards organizational changes.
Due to potentially strong responses, leaders need to be effective at managing the structural side of change and the human dynamic of transition.
Too often, Luis Chanaga reports that leaders fail to gain enough enthusiasm from employees, slowing and undermining progress toward new goals. Likewise, minimizing the people side of change management causes initiatives to stall or flop.
To be successful, leaders must guide their teams through grief, hope-building, and education. After that, they must handle the longer-term aspects of the change, including recovery and recommitment.
Ensuring increased awareness of the human side of organizational changes allows businesses to take effective steps toward their newfound goals. Luis Chanaga says that without the tactics expressed above, experts note the high likelihood of transitional failure.