Now is a particularly challenging time to make decisions about space, location, and the workplace – when the only constant is change. But not making a decision is still a decision. Effective leaders develop a plan to manage the change, not just react to outside forces. As with all change initiatives, people can pose the largest opportunity and potential derailer to the vision of the future state.
By adopting a structured approach to change, organizations can navigate challenges in a way that builds consensus around common goals, keeping the following four critical steps front of mind:
Understanding Stakeholder Needs
Identifying who in an organization influences key decisions and how they can impact the project will help to inform and develop an engagement strategy.
Creating Solutions Together
Co-creating solutions instills a feeling of investment amongst professionals, and while this process might require more time upfront, it can reduce the risk of having key milestones derailed because of stakeholder mismanagement.
Redefining Status in Spaces
For decades, an individual's status in an organization was defined by how many people worked for them and, as a result, how much building square footage each of those people occupied. However, in our changing world of hybrid work, office status is evolving. When working through resistance indicators, exploring what elements denote power and status is critical to defining a professional’s future identity in the organization. How an individual's status will be represented in future space and having them involved in defining those indicators is key.
For instance, future indications of status might not be how much space a group occupies, but rather those groups proximities to other leaders or access to conference rooms, secure filing, or other amenities.
Relying on Leadership
Outlining the value of active and visible leadership drives successful transformations. Newmark Workplace Strategy and Human Experience’s change management approach is focused on coaching leaders, communicating their importance to the process and the risks of not changing and supporting managers and employees through the process. Supporting leaders to walk the walk as much as talk the talk.
Utilizing a carefully planned schedule and support from outside advisors helps drive decision-making and define key deadlines, helping leaders to stay on track with clear priorities and ownership of the process.
Change within an organization is inevitable. By adopting a structured approach to change, leaders can reduce risk and improve outcomes, and having experienced advisors to create a roadmap and avoid common pitfalls significantly improves the odds of successful change.
Executive Managing Director, Workplace Strategy and Human Experience
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