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It's October and most credit unions are working through their strategic sessions in preparation for 2008. How many initiatives are you putting on your employees' plates for next year that will require them to do their work differently – or more efficiently? How much differently?
These strategic initiatives usually fall under several major categories: top line growth, expense control, credit union differentiation, member experience, and compliance/regulatory measures. Some of these initiatives will be simple and easy for employees to embrace, as they maintain the status quo. Others will require some significant planning as they will require employees to behave in very different ways. An example of an initiative requiring complex planning, resulting in major changes in how employees behave with each other and members would be implementing a new sales and service culture.
Research, however, shows that 75% of major change efforts fail to meet the expectations of stakeholders – hence our title: “Can you lead your employees to water…and will they drink?” Author John Kotter, known for his best selling book, Leading Change ,says that there are 8 barriers to effectively implement change efforts.
Two Basic Elements to Consider with Any New Initiative <First : How easy will the employees (and members) be able to “digest” the new initiative and embrace the change quickly? Second : From a communications standpoint, how can the management team communicate effectively to ensure employees are engaged in helping change their behaviors to successfully meet the expectations of the credit union and its members?
The following are some tips on how best to address these two elements: To forecast how easy it will be for employees to digest and embrace the new initiatives, use these six factors to create a scale to help plan the scope of implementation – as well as have a realistic idea of the time required to be successful:
From a communications standpoint, author William Bridges wrote Managing Transitions , a practical book on “change leadership” that describes how to engage employees around transitioning to new and exciting business initiatives. He describes the importance of every executive and every manager being able to effectively communicate the same answers to the Five Ps :
Clearly, all credit union leaders need to play a key role in helping articulate the answers to the questions outlined in this article. Using these tips to implement change should cause a higher success rate for your 2008 strategic initiatives – and result in more engaged employees and satisfied members.
For more information on Changing Employee Behavior, please contact Jim Cardwell or Karla Norwood at Cardwell, 800-395-1410. Or visit our Connections Online website: www.connectionsonline.net
October 22, 2007
7/26/2012 04:02 PM
A useful blueprint for implementing all projects, not just change initiatives.
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