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It’s clear that change is complex and there isn’t a single solution to managing it. However, a number of key areas of focus emerge. Our transformational change research, in collaboration with the University of Bath, identifies ten techniques, across three themes, which can be applied to a variety of change management scenarios to enhance the effectiveness of change programmes. 
Designing the transformation 
Leaders and designers of change need to be able to ‘read’ their context; to evaluate it to identify aspects that hinder change. They then need to design change programmes which first put in place initiatives to rewrite or rewire their context in a way that overcomes obstacles to enable the desired change. 
Aligning strategy and culture 
For transformation to succeed, designers of change need to align strategic and cultural aspirations. Using new strategic goals of the organisation as a starting point, they must identify a new supportive and goal-consistent culture in terms of beliefs and behaviours. 
If open discussion and debate is encouraged in the top team this enables more proactive, opportunistic change to happen, as leaders become more open to breaking with the past and moving away from old business models as they become irrelevant. 
Techniques for building understanding 
Ambiguity and purposeful instability 
Transformation can be facilitated if a change vision is ambitious yet also presented in ambiguous terms, with the deliberate intention to encourage individuals to actively question and attempt to make sense of their situation. 
Narratives, storytelling and conversations 
Narratives and stories can be used as devices to make the content and implications of new strategies easier to understand, enhancing individuals’ ability to translate change into meaningful actions for themselves. Organisation development work provides useful structure and guidance for conversations, and considers the role of self too as an important part of the change process. 
Physical representations, metaphors and play 
Use of objects, metaphors, symbols and pictures - maybe as part of playful design as an alternative to traditional and often rather dry change workshops - helps to engage individuals and to enable them to translate change rhetoric into meaningful change-related actions. 
Managing the transformation 
Relational leadership 
Rather than implementing change through authority and control, in new forms of leadership transformational change is achieved through negotiations and social interactions with organisational members. 
Building trust 
High levels of trust will deliver the enabling conditions in which significant change can thrive. Change leaders need to emphasise their trustworthiness by demonstrating their competence to design change intelligently, and their benevolence and integrity in the way they attend to the needs of the business, employees and the wider community. HR and L&D systems and processes designed and administered in a fair way, help foster trustworthiness in the organisation. 
Voice, dialogue and rethinking resistance 
In more democratic workplaces, the actions of employees who raise concerns about change should not be labelled as resistance, but instead reframed and reinterpreted in terms of legitimacy of employee voice. 
Emotion, energy and momentum 
Change is often an emotional process and so emotional awareness by those leading and designing change is required to anticipate and plan for reactions. Those managing the change must also maintain levels of energy and momentum throughout the change process. 
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Tagged as: Change Management
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