Innovation & Change Management Should be Best Friends
Published: March 17, 2022
Author: Joe Kerschbaum
Throughout this series, we’ve been laying out a plan to create a culture of innovation within your organization. In essence, your innovation champions must also be change management heroes – otherwise, new ideas won’t have the momentum or influence you’re hoping for. While change management is often-overlooked, you can take the right steps to change the narrative within your own organization.
Create a vision and clarity on why change needs to happen
For any change or innovation within an agency or other organization to have an impact, your teams must understand why it’s important. They have to envision themselves in the change and see the positive outcomes on the other side. Change is difficult and we have to see the other side before we begin.
Provide an opportunity for collaboration and shared ownership
Change is much more likely to take hold when everyone feels like they had a voice in the decision. Or, when everyone at least had a representative voice in the group driving change. For example, including hands-on team members in changes or ideas that directly impact their work will foster collaboration and ownership. They can represent everyone whose daily work might be impacted by the change.
Broadcast proactive, consistent communication
Throughout this series, we have emphasized the importance of communication and this remains true for change management within your organization. Consistent communication will keep all of your teams updated on change rollout, adoption, progress, and successes. Any new innovation needs to have a clear vision and momentum in order to find promoters to sustain the change. Do not underestimate the impact of clear and concise communication when driving change. This can come in the form of emails, meetings, training sessions, instant messaging updates, and any other channel you may have available.
Generate clear implementation documentation
If you expect teams to make changes based on your ideas, then you need to provide documentation with clear instructions. Keep in mind, you can write out the most thorough instructions, but you also need to provide individual resources for team support. Teams should know exactly who to contact if they have questions or concerns. If you neglect to provide this support, then implementation will grind to a halt because no one is answering questions or offering additional information.
As you can see based on our full series, innovation isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. And because many people and organizations are resistant to change, that marathon is being run uphill, in the rain, with a bear chasing you. Innovation and change take time, focus, and persistence, and building a culture around that supporting framework will help drive your organization forward into the future.