Managing Change Toolkit

Implementing Change

Gaining Support

For the Change to succeed, you need to shape the politics in order to gain the support needed.

The Force Field diagnosis shown below helps in formulating a strategy for this.  This views the organisation as being in a political balance at the current state and in order to move to the desired future state, either the supporting forces must increase, or the opposing forces be lessened.  In practice, the latter is the most effective strategy. 

Force Field

Having identified the forces, the change manager has three broad options:-

1. Get Support of Key Power Groups/Individuals

You will need to build a `critical mass' of support for the change. 

Identify the key players and build support with them through:

Below is a simple mapping tool that can help in this.

Bedfellows and so

2. Market the Change

People rarely support something that looks marginal or destined for failure. 

The change may need to be `marketed' in terms of creating an identity for the change and the appearance of a critical mass of support.  Here, language is important - using words (value for money) and symbols that link it to people's needs, and perhaps linking it to other initiatives or “flavours of the month” seen to be succeeding (piggy-back marketing).

3. Use `Magic Leadership' Skills

Get someone involved who can `lead' the change. 

`Role model' behaviour, articulate the `vision', reward supporters, provide support and resources, remove roadblocks, and send signals through the `grapevine'.

Few managers can do all of this themselves.  In most cases we need to first form an `inner circle' of supporters with complementary skills, connection, and credibilities.