How to Keep Your Team Aligned During Business Change

No matter how well structured or thought out your change programme, it’s of no use if the whole team isn’t onside. We look at three key steps for keeping everyone reading from the same process guide and moving your business forward.

Interims operate across functional areas, working in a wide range of public and private sector organisations. Interims are troubleshooters and change enablers, turning around or transforming businesses on a fixed timescale, for a fixed daily rate.

A senior manager taking a leave of absence, or resigning suddenly, is the clearest reason to recruit an interim. But what about when your leadership team remains intact?

The lack of crisis doesn’t mean everything is running smoothly. When growth slows, mission creep sinks in, targets get missed, or when the urgent trumps the important (new initiatives, products or services), an outsider’s perspective could be just what your organisation needs.

Management consultants are one option. Interim managers are another.

The Three C’s

Clarity, consensus and communication: these are the three key words leaders must have in mind to keep teams aligned during times of intense change in business. Any change programme must have a clear vision and a defined strategy for achieving the desired end state.

The change programme must be structured from the bottom up and not directed from the top down. During the construction of the change programme, you should invest a considerable amount of time in explaining the issues and the rationale for change. Hold workshops to get your arms around the full extent of the issues – and to identify any concerns or risks. Change is done with people and not to people – overlook this at your peril.

People and Pace

If everyone appreciates why change is necessary and the pace that is required, then the greater the chance of that change being realised and sticking. When leading teams through change, look to identify ‘agents for change’ in those teams and empower them to champion change in the teams and drive the pace of change.

Hold regular team meetings and ensure that the teams lead on the progress of change – and celebrate success where appropriate. Remember to keep a weather eye on the individuals in those teams as the pace of change can affect different people in different ways. Your team are not automatons and if the performance of a team starts to drop away, then look closely as to the reasons why. Ensure that teams regularly communicate with each other as inter dependencies are frequently taken for granted – the common goal will bind teams.

Change in Business: a Force for Good

Change should be embraced – but not treated as a strapline. Change that is seen as force for good will drive teams forward. Pace is determined by the robustness of the plan, frequent checks and balances and the will of the individuals in the team. Open communication should be the wrapper for all elements of change – never take anything for granted.