Does organizational change look like many colorful umbrellas to you? Organizations are constantly on the lookout for ways to drive change in processes, practices, and systems to keep the organization moving forward.

Too much change can be overwhelming for the best organizations. Why? Because, multiple colors of organizational change umbrellas can create confusion, misunderstanding, complexity, and employee disengagement.

What could and does occur in some organizations is that the caldron of organizational issues begins to bubble over when another change initiative is announced, which creates an unstable environment. It would be great if organizational change operated just like a light switch on the wall, flip the switch, the lights come on, and it’s done. Unfortunately, thats not the case.

The guidelines below could help reduce those organization issues that arise as you begin your next change initiative:

· Conduct a change readiness assessment using in-house resources or a third party to help level set your change management strategy
· Analyze the data and look for any abnormalities or inconsistencies in the data
· Determine the change entry point (start with teams, groups, or organization-wide) based on facts from the assessment data
· Analyze the data carefully to establish the preparedness of the organization to change
· Define your level of change readiness: Are you ready now, almost ready, not quite ready, not ready at all, or woefully unprepared
· Understand your level of change readiness, the bigger the change, the more complexity and moving parts to contest with
· Key stakeholders should agree on your level of change readiness, because of the cost in time, effort, and resources to support the case for change
· Have key stakeholders in the same room at the same time to hear the message one time
· Create organizational messaging based on stakeholder feedback that is concise, honest, and transparent
· Stakeholder messaging must align with business outcomes for maximum change impact
· Focus on people, organization, and process so that you have a holistic and unobstructed view of the changing landscape

When the rainy or sunny days of organizational change are on your horizon with all of its colorful change umbrellas, you only need one color to help you through your organizational change at that point and time.

Originally published at