Reducing Risk During the Change Management Process

Change is an inevitable part of life. It occurs across all areas and it is simply impossible to avoid.

While there are many different perspectives when it comes to change, the reality is that change is viewed on an individual level – for some it can create fear and uncertainty, for others it can ignite excitement! How a person will react, largely depends on the specific change and how they perceive it will impact them.

Because of this, business leaders looking to implement a large change within a company, can struggle to predict how such a change will be met by their employees.

Managing change in business can be a difficult process to master and one that will always carry a certain level of risk.

However, it is possible to reduce such risks and retain some stability throughout the change process.

Approach to Change

If you are considering implementing a particularly big change, one of the easiest ways to significantly reduce risk is by bringing in the professionals.

A business change consultant has expertise and a solid approach to change which provide that much needed guidance and reassurance at every stage of the process – from the initial planning to embedding a change culture within an organisation.

Without such guidance, it can be a challenge to know where to begin and where to focus your attention to deliver results, with the least negative impact as possible.

Thorough Risk Assessment

If you are unaware of the risks you are up against, you will not be able to do a lot to prevent them. Therefore, a large proportion of time should be invested in ensuring a full risk assessment is undertaken – where every potential risk is identified at all stages of the project.

Once you have a complete picture of what the risks are and how risky they are, you will be in a better position to reduce the impact, and in some cases may even be able to avoid the risk entirely.

Effective Planning and Preparation

Failure to spend time thoroughly planning change projects, is one of the most common issues for businesses implementing change. Going straight from idea to implementation increases risk ten-fold and can have an extremely detrimental impact to all aspects of business.

Obviously, this is only possible if the change is being implemented, rather than an unforeseen change that your business is having to quickly adapt to.

Go through each stage of the change process, looking at who and what it will impact. Before any action is taken towards implementation, it is vital to know that the benefits of the change will outweigh the risks involved.

Power in Your People

The people in your company are invaluable to your business and to any change you wish to introduce.

When your workforce is involved, consulted and listened to throughout the change management process, they quickly become part of the solution, rather than another problem to deal with.

Your people are both your biggest risk and part of mitigating risk!

It is important to remember that the people that will be most affected by this change – have a voice. It is when these individuals are not given any opportunity to provide input, that difficulties can arise and the risk of resistance to change is considerably elevated.

Prepared to Be Unprepared

Despite spending time in the preparation phase, there will undoubtedly be situations that come up which you may not have predicted.

Therefore, having some contingency plans and budgets in place will allow your business to adapt and remain flexible, should you be presented with an unforeseen situation.

This approach has the potential to reduce the business risk considerably.