Last week we discussed Step 4: Enlisting a Volunteer Army. Each step builds upon another and identifies a rational method to approach organizational change. The purpose of this post is to briefly identify, describe, and analyze strategies to used in Step 5: Enable Action by Removing Barriers.
What does it mean to enable action by removing barriers? Although the steps are identified, and actions are started there may be internal and external resistors. Identification of the resistors is essential. The types and level of impact may vary organization to organization. The first part of removing barriers is to know exactly what the barriers are and the impact of such restrictions. The identification of barriers may be completed by leadership, the guiding coalition, or perhaps, the army of volunteers that were enlisted to help carry out the initiatives.
What strategies can be implemented to allow action of removing barriers? Strategies may vary organization to organization. The key is to identify, confirm that the identification is a barrier, evaluate alternatives to eliminate the barrier, select the best option, communicate and train how to remove the barrier, do it, and monitor the progress. The difference lies in the “what” and “how” the barriers are identified and eliminated. Monitoring the progress of removing barriers is essential. This is because the risk of barriers reappearing after removal due to reverting back to the “old way of doing things”.
What factors could impede on the effectiveness of enabling the new actions? There are many factors that could impact the effectiveness of change initiatives. However, the most common are going to be gaps that occur in previous stages of the change management process. This could be a result of poor analysis, planning, communication, and implementation of change initiatives. The factors could even go beyond the change management process and just simply be a terrible organizational culture that is not open to change. So, the key is ensure that the steps leading up to eliminating barriers are rock solid. The soundness of each phase will strength the next step.
In conclusion, each phase of Dr. John Kotter’s change management process is paramount. Each stage builds upon the other, and if one stage is out of sync, it impacts others. Leadership, the guiding coalition, and volunteer army can help to remove barriers and enable action that aligns with the change vision. Barriers can happen during any phase of the change management process. Stay tuned for the Step 6: Generate Short Term Wins strategy discussion.
Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day.
by Katie Doseck, PhD MBA
Chief Visionary and Strategic Ace Up Your Sleeve | Viral Solutions LLC
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