Leading change encompasses a high level of skill, training, perseverance, and patience in order that the change process can be accomplished to its completion (Kotter, 2007). These are significant characteristics that the facilitator of change must have. A change facilitator coordinates, offers support, and mentors individuals who have volunteered to assume a leading role in the change process. This role thus encompasses such activities as recruiting a team that will partake in the change process, updating them on what the change process shall entail, developing a consensus plan that can be implemented (Giley, 2005), coordinating activities, ensuring that people remain active, incorporating assessment and recording of progress of the change process, and remaining upbeat about the change.
In the workplace, a change facilitator helps to ensure that such changes as laying-off employees, acquisitions and mergers are not disruptive to employees. In this case, the role of the change facilitator is to assist employees in adapting to the new conditions (Kotter, 2007). They do so by seeing to it that employees are fully aware of why the change had to take place, the ensuing benefits form such a change, as well as the necessary steps that they need to transform or transition to the required new state. In my capacity as a change facilitator in the workplace, it would be my duty to assist managers identifies options for the change process, ensure it is communicated to the employees clearly, and that any ensuing conflicts have been settled amicably. In the absence of a clear change management process, employee morale is likely to be affected.
As a change facilitator, I need to ensure that I possess the necessary training, skills, capacity, and competence to engage others in embracing change. Not only should I be an ideal role model as evidenced by my capacity for patience and perseverance, and competency, but I should also be in a position to improve the chance of others attaining success (Hogan, 2003). Through the facilitation process, leaders are in a better position to lead others into embracing change. This ability is crucial in that it acknowledges the change process as both a skill and art. It enables the change facilitator to attain the desired goal with high level of spontaneity and predictability.
In order to create a sense of urgency as regards a given change process, I would have to first get the attention of the people from whom the change will be beneficial. To do so, I would need to make use of my persuasion skills in order to sell the importance of the change to them. This involves among others, describing to them the ramifications of failing to embrace change (Giley, 2005). Secondly, I need to ensure that the people are immersing in information regarding the change. More importantly, I would have to explore in-depth ways of dealing with the challenges that the individuals identify with the change. Finally, I ought to ensure that the people are empowered so that they can be able to solve the problem they are faced with.
In terms of managing and responding to the various reactions of followers to the change process, I would ensure that I provide direction to them as a means of empowering them to act. I would also encourage the followers to take risks and speak out on their fears and apprehensions regarding the change process. I would then share the information available to me as a means of quelling such fears and apprehensions (Synnot & Fitzgerald, 2007). I would also encourage collaboration and teamwork among the followers. Other activities means to empower people towards embracing the change process include offering training materials in order to ensure that they possess the necessary attitudes and skills (Hogan, 2003).
During such training sessions, I would have to ensure that such activities are tracked and progress recorded. It is also important to focus on assisting employees to assume a proactive role in the change process, in a more empowering, dynamic, and positive way. As a change facilitator, it is my responsibility to create opportunities that will ensure that my followers actively participate in the desired change process.
However, it is incumbent upon the change facilitator to acknowledge that the followers will always be resistant to change by being unwieldy, deliberately difficult and stuck in their traditional ways of getting things done. Such an understanding is a key starting point in transforming them into accepting that change is inevitable.
Hogan, C. (2003). Practical Facilitation. A Toolkit of Techniques. London and Sterling, VA: Kogan Page.
Synnot, B., & Fitzgerald, R. (2007). The toolbox for change. Danjugah Pty Ltd: Brisbane.
Giley, A. (2005). The manager as a change leader. Westport, CT.: Praeger Publishers.
Kotter, J.P. (2007). Leading change. Why Transformation Efforts Fail. Boston: Harvard Business Review.