Article: Are You Ready for Change?

A critical part of the change process is taking the time to check the level of change readiness, both for you as the leader and for your organization. Are you really ready for change?

The five components of change readiness

Ros Guerrie
Education Programs Manager
 

As a leader, you recognize the need for your organization to become more agile and able to adapt to ever-evolving customer expectations, market shifts, product improvements and more.  But before you begin to consider what you’ll tackle next, take some time to look inward, at your organization and yourself. Are you really READY for change?

Effective leaders of change know much work needs to be done to align the key stakeholders in an organization before moving forward with a change initiative. As we enter into the organizational change process, our first goal is to understand the current state of the organization. We also need to be aware of our own strengths and challenges as they relate to leading a change effort. A critical part of this process is taking the time to check the level of change readiness, both for you as the leader and your organization.

Focus on each of these components of change readiness, and reflect on your answers to these questions:

  • Clarity
    What's the purpose of the change? How clear are the intended outcomes?   Are you trying to fix a problem or leverage an opportunity? How urgent is it?  What are the consequences of NOT changing?
  • Competence
    What's your level of expertise in leading this type of change? Have you attempted something similar before? What were the results? What factors might differ this time – for you or your organization?
  • Control
    How much control or influence do you have? How much SHOULD you have? Are you willing to let go and empower others to take on leading the change with you?
  • Mindset 
    What beliefs do you have about your ability to lead this change? What shared beliefs (values) exist in your organization that will either support or hinder change?
  • Timing
    What other change initiatives are in progress within your organization? How likely are your employees to experience “change fatigue” and get stuck in denial, confusion about which priorities are really priorities?

Leaders who take time to assess change readiness can move into the organizational change process better prepared to do the right things, at the right time and do them well.

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