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Before change, there must be analysis. Organisational change is a costly and difficult business, and there must be a real business need reason in order to change current practice. Typically, changes are attempts to reach new markets, to improve productivity or to cope with drastically reduced funding. A good analyst will identify the key problem.
Once it's clear what change is required, a change strategy has to be developed. In other words, somebody needs to say what should be done. Sometimes the idea will come from a visionary within the company, perhaps an imaginative and persuasive member of the management team. Otherwise, the company might bring in a consultant to help them find the right solution. Either way, management should also consult with staff at this stage. There should be meetings to help raise awareness for the need for change and to give employees a chance to suggest their own solutions.
Next comes what's probably the most problematic stage: implementation. Above all else, making the planned change a reality requires communication. Staff will need to be informed of new procedures and, where necessary, trained in new skills. The most important member of the change management team at this stage is the gatekeeper. It's their job to be available to staff, to help them deal with problems they may be having with the changes and answer any questions, making the change as painless as possible.
Finally, there's the consolidation stage. There needs to be a way to collect feedback from employees on how the change is being received. Because there will still be some resistance to the change, even at this stage, someone needs to act as a champion for the innovation. The champion gives encouragement and raises morale by congratulating everyone on a successful changeover and on what's been achieved.
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