Business of Engineering

How can I manage change successfully within my organization?

Are there qualities that a leader needs to have to successfully manage change?

By Lisa Roger December 4, 2019
Photo courtesy: Dewberry

What’s the most successful way to manage change, while making sure all of your employees are on board? Are there qualities that a leader needs to have to successfully manage change?

These are just a few questions a manager needs to think about when looking at implementing change within their organization. The change could be as small as employing a new program or process, or as big as changing the leadership and management of an entire company.

Photo courtesy: Dewberry

Change management is a systematic approach and a formula needs to be followed to achieve a successful, consistent outcome. Success is determined by how risk is reduced and how the goals are actually attained.

A Well-Planned Out Approach

For change to be successful, it’s critical for a manager to think through the changes up front before sharing it with their employees or other members of the organization. It’s crucial to do this analysis at the beginning and align the plan with potential road blocks, the risks involved, and what objectives you’re trying to accomplish.

Photo courtesy: Dewberry

Another piece of successful change management is looking at the social and political components of a company, which have to be managed just as carefully as the tactical part. Getting your employees on board and making sure the organization is prepared for the change are examples of the social and political pieces a manager needs to consider.

Strong Leadership is Key

Having a strong leader to manage change is a critical piece of successful change management. There are a lot of qualities that make up an effective leader, but I think the ability to listen, think critically, be adaptable, be observant, and coach employees to problem solve are keys to a good leader.

A strong leader creates a learning organization, full of problem solvers. That gets their employees to follow and articulate the vision. A learning organization with empowered problem solvers that understand the vision help inspire the rest of the organization to get behind them in a new mission or project.

5 Tips to Manage Change Successfully

  1. Be transparent about the process, focus on all the elements and not just the tactical ones
  2. Cultivate positive energy and excitement around what’s going on using the small wins up front to build momentum and help push the project to the end
  3. Have a system and take the time to apply it, whether that be a ticket management system, process management system, or one of the other hundreds of management tools available and measure the outcomes
  4. Make sure your team understands the vision, owns the results, and is held accountable for their part
  5. Know when to pull the plug and step away from something, but turn it into a learning opportunity and use those lessons learned for the next time

Photo courtesy: Dewberry

Change can’t just come from the top of an organization, but needs to be accepted and championed by members from across the organization, as well as feed into the organization’s overall strategic objectives. With a well-planned out approach and a strong leader, change can be successfully made.


This article originally appeared on Dewberry’s website. Dewberry is a CFE Media content partner. 


Lisa Roger