“We have a whole group of new leaders… [The HigherEchelon partnership] has helped us think outside our normal day-to-day grind and think more big picture to put definitions to high performance and think about everything in leadership — communication, trust, all the ingredients you need to develop new leaders in organizations. Also, we [are] new to Salesforce, so having expertise on how to use this strategically and to our advantage is really important. I think we’d be a little lost if it weren’t for the consultants from HigherEchelon coming in and coaching us through that.”
– Josh Herren, President & CEO, Yulista Holding, LLC
Maybe your organization is transitioning to a new technology and team members are struggling to adapt. Maybe there is an important organization-wide initiative that is floundering. Maybe core service offerings or products are deeply embedded in legacy systems that need to change but short-term disruption to the bottom line is preventing the move.
Frequent change is a feature of modern work. Technology advances and evolving customer expectations mean businesses must adapt to stay competitive. But that doesn’t mean it is easy. Change is remarkably hard and change initiatives rarely succeed as intended. Why is that?
Change is challenging, in part, because humans are hard-wired to resist change. Even when we perceive changes will help us (and especially when we think they will not), our brains tend to prefer steady-state because change is uncomfortable, disruptive, and often initially inefficient.
Change that disrupts the status quo can trigger emotional responses such as fear, anger, stress, and anxiety. If changes in job requirements, management approach, social norms, processes, technologies, or workplace environment threaten our sense of comfort or are perceived as dangerous to us, it can hinder our ability to respond productively.
The result? Too often, needed changes fizzle out, meet with employee resistance, create conflict between adopters and traditionalists, and fail to achieve the desired results. Time and money are wasted. Improvements are delayed. Organizations fall further behind.
Change initiatives don’t have to end in frustration and failure. Resistance research shows that the best way to motivate employees to embrace change is to reduce learning anxiety through training, education, and communication regarding the “new” way of doing business while equipping them with the tools they need to be successful. Doing so provides psychological safety for employees, permitting them to see themselves surviving change and thriving in the new organization.
We partner with organizations to guide them through a series of carefully strategized steps that takes the guesswork out of change management to ensure success. The key to successful change is to use a structured, intentional, evidence-based, sequential process to meet objectives and minimize barriers to success. We have developed a four phased approach to change management that is rooted in theoretical and empirically demonstrated best practices for institutional culture change that involves culture and strategy alignment and is based in the ADKAR model.
The Pre-Launch phase begins when the need for change is realized. During this phase our experts work with you to develop a vision for the change, build a guiding coalition to champion the change and lead through it, develop the initial change managament strategy, and craft the initial strategic communications plan. We train leaders in the mental and emotional leadership skills necessary to drive a successful change initiative and deliver Change Management workshops.
Imagine a change is coming in your organization. Would you want a leader to jump right into training without informing you of why the change is needed? Or would you respond better to a leader that explains why the change is coming and how you are personally connected to the success of that change? During the Launch phase, we help leaders craft effective formal and informal connections and communications that introduce the change vision, support buy-in, and pave the way for a successful change strategy.
In the Execution phase leaders address the emotional needs of members, reduce resistance, continue to communicate the need and vision, seek group member input, and begin the process of changing the policies, procedures, practices, and systems to support change. These are embedding mechanisms to make the cultural change last. We conduct Change Management coaching to help key stakeholders navigate barriers and resistors to change add we support employees with training and workshops.
Throughout, we use assessments, interviews, focus groups, observation, and discussion to understand company culture, aspirations, how things are going, and if shifts to strategy are needed.
In the Sustainment phase, we work to maintain momentum and to anchor the change – i.e. the new way of doing business and thinking – into the culture. Our experts work with your leaders to set best practices to maintain momentum, deal with unanticipated consequences, and leverage sustainment mechanisms (such as evaluations, audits, etc.).
HigherEchelon brings together expertise in psychology and technology to help organizations win in the complex modern business environment. We have experience implementing large scale changes in massive efforts that involve thousands of users across the country, at all levels of digital literacy, with widely varying degrees of openness to change. Our highly certified team of change management experts have decades of experience successfully guiding organizations through change efforts big and small. We also have an entire team of award-winning technical Salesforce and CRM experts who can partner with you to implement technology and ensure flawless configuration.
Contact us today to learn more. Email us at solutions@Higherechelon.com, call us at 866-488-9228 or fill out a contact form to discuss an initial consultation.