2024 is shaping up to be a year of rolling transformations for businesses. AI is catalyzing widespread technology changes. Generative AI is changing how many people approach their tasks. Workforce models are changing as in-demand skills are in short supply through traditional channels. World events demand that enterprises be able to change and adapt quickly.
In this environment, workers will be faced with ongoing change. Team managers need to ensure that members are able to manage change effectively, not once but over and over. This means creating a team culture that takes change in stride whenever the need arises.
5 C’s for a Culture of Continuous Change
Success in an environment of rolling transformations greatly relies on the ability of a team to face successive change initiatives without flinching. To create a team culture that can take on serial change, managers can think in terms of these 5 C’s:
As a manager, keep the team informed. Rather than waiting until things can be shared in a nice package, share what’s happening even (or especially) when they’re messy and uncertain. Come clean about your own challenges with the change—this can help team members come to grips and resolve their responses. Make it a habit to listen to team members and encourage questions.
Involve the team all along the way. Formally and informally invite feedback from team members. Have discussions with them about what’s working and not working. Brainstorm solutions and agree on actions to take.
Different people respond to change differently. For example, an emotional response to change can result in someone pulling back rather than participating. Be alert for signs of resistance or lack of buy-in among team members and give coaching to help them push through.
Make a big deal about individual and team achievements. Also, celebrate (inevitable) mistakes as positive experiences that everyone can learn from.
Involve the team members in monitoring and evaluating progress. Use relevant data and indicators to assess performance, work together to find gaps, issues, or risks to be addressed, and collaborate to implement adjustments or improvements.
And One “K” – Keep an Eye on Well Being
In an environment of rolling transformation, people must unlearn current workflows and processes and relearn new ways of working, over and over. And often in a space characterized by uncertainty. Be alert to “change fatigue” signals among team members and be prepared to take a break or slow things down.