As you start out on the journey of managing change there are some key questions you should be ready for. There may be more specific ones for your business and industry but these 5 are I believe almost universal in every change I’ve been involved in.
The top 5 questions you must answer in managing change
Q – What’s in it for me?
A – Umh – good question, I’m glad you asked!
Don’t forget to think about the change from the perspective of you staff or customer. How will they benefit from this change? You need to answer this one first and foremost because if there is no GAIN for them, then you’ve got a battle ahead.
Q – Why is it so urgent that we do this now?
A – Building a sense of urgency helps in mobilising your staff to make the change, so this is a great question to address up front.
Not all change is ‘urgent’ but usually it is important (otherwise why would you be bothering with the angst). So shifting the question slightly, that is to why its important, might help you to answer this.
Q – Whose idea is this?
A – Yes, whose idea is it anyway!
This isn’t always clear as often the pressure for change comes from a variety of sources. By putting together a matrix of the competing pressures or impetus to change may help to show that this is not just ‘ONE’ persons idea but is compelling for a number of reasons. This helps to create a better understanding of the complexity of your business environment, but might also shift your staffs thinking from a ‘single’ source to blame, to a deeper appreciation of the environment in which you business operates.
Q – Don’t we get a say?
A – Inclusion and encouraging differing points of view are key to a successful change management approach.
Why – well no one person has the answers, or all the insights, that inform better ways of doing things. So YES your staff should get a say. That’s not to say they get ‘carte blanche’, its best if you can corral this interest in ‘having a say’ towards how to make the change work better for them and the business.
So in preparing for this question you need to have thought about the ways in which you will include, consult and consider the input of staff. Of course you can’t ‘take on board’ everyones point of view but you need to be able to distill the most common and pressing views of staff.
Q – Why do we need to change what we are doing?
A – There could be many answers to this question and you must of course provide the rationale behind the change and what is driving it. Fundamentally though what people are looking for is some ‘meaning’ to help them make sense of the reasons for change.
If you can crystallize some of the key reasons ‘why’ then you will have the key to a If you’re just starting on the journey – good luck. If you need more ideas or suggestions please feel to read some of my other articles. I’d recommend.getting your staff on board in the change journey.
There will be many more questions that will arise as you progress on your Change Management journey but these are perhaps the most important, in my view, for you to spend some time thinking about and preparing a response.
Prepping for these change management questions is just the first step – you’ve just begun the journey.
If you’re involved in managing change you might also like to read
- 10 Simple Secrets to Successful Change
- Ignore resistance to change at your peril
- Successful change isn’t just about process – don’t forget emotions
Thanks for reading and feel free to suggest some other questions from your experience – I’d love to hear them.