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How to Ensure that Consulting Implementation will Actually Take Place

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December 13, 2021
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5 minutes
Gizela has almost two decades of experience within the Digital sphere and eagerly awaits the day she can be cloned so she can finally get everything on her daily to-do list done

It’s one thing to know that change is needed, it's another to actually implement it. Especially once the watchful eye of the consultant is no longer around. This poses a big problem to any consultant. Many times a company or business simply decides to ignore certain recommendations from the consultant. Moreover, they slowly start regressing to the way things were done before. When the company or business hits troubled waters due to this fact, unfortunately (and unfairly), the blame is at the feet of the consultant. And since a consultant is only as good as his/her reputation, we need to ensure that this does not happen.

So how do we ensure that consulting implementation will actually take place? When it comes to implementing change in organizations, how do we see to it that once the torch has been passed, the company/business keeps the flames of change alive? There are actually a few things a consultant can do when planning for change management:

Start at the top

A team follows in the footsteps of its leaders. If the company’s owner or upper management hasn’t fully bought into and committed to the changes, neither will the team. It is therefore important that the consultant ensures that thinking of leadership has been adjusted before the official handover date.

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy

Practice, practice, practice

We cannot stress the training of the employees enough. They should be so well-versed on the changes and the way forward by the time you leave. They will continue implementing change in organizations even in their sleep.

Place emphasis on internal communication and marketing

Even if someone gives you a map you can still get lost sometimes. When a company starts drifting off the path, it’s important that there are those within the organization who can quickly steer the business back on track. That’s why it’s a good idea that when planning for change management include a top notch internal communication plan. This requires effective internal communication throughout the organization as well as effective marketing.

“Grocery list” the changes

Document all the objectives of the recommended changes and the processes to achieve them. That way the company essentially has a clearly outlined to-do list they can refer to and follow.

Focus on the benefits

People are keener to do things that benefit them. So, in your planning for change management remember to highlight exactly how the proposed changes do that. Do these changes ultimately lead to salary increases? Do these changes make teams more autonomous, so there’s no need to go through all the red tape anymore? Or does this new independence mean team members can work from home more often or have more flexible work hours? There are a million ways proposed changes can impact team members for the better, so make sure that they know that.

Create pit stops

When you do a road trip, you work in a few pit stops along the way to fuel up, grab a bite or just stretch your legs. An effective roadmap to change is not very different. In order to drive people all the way to the end goal you will need to include incentives along the way. What these incentives are is up to you and upper management to decide. But, don’t underestimate the power of some healthy competition and a couple of vouchers.

Leave only your mole behind

Ok, so it’s really more of an official internal representative for consulting implementation than an undercover mole, but you know what we mean. Get management to give one specific team member the official job description of ‘Implementing Change in Organizations’. This way that individual can be your right-hand man (or woman) during your time as consultant at the company. Finally, once you leave it will be their responsibility to carry on with what you started.

Put support in place

It doesn’t matter how much planning for change management you do, employees will always remain a little apprehensive and frightened of changes. That is why it’s crucial that you leave them with the adequate support they’ll need during this transition. You can start a mentorship program, hire a counselor or even have management adopt an open-door policy for a certain period of time. There are numerous ways to construct a support network for employees based on the company culture and specific situation or circumstances.

Keep track

Don’t worry. We are not proposing that you keep popping in on old clients. You just need to ensure that clients can keep track of their own progress. When planning for change management a certain structure needs to be put in place that enables the client to measure the change process. A business/company should also be able to evaluate the effectiveness of the change management plan throughout and document any lessons learned.

Invest in teaching old dogs new tricks

Many times changes are a sign of the times and certain valuable and key players within an organization can get left out or left behind due to a generation gap, a lack of exposure or even financial means. This can hinder the consulting implementation process. So, when planning for change management, take the opportunity to upskill those within the organization who need it. If the new marketing plan includes TikTok videos, but Marketing team member Mary got lost with the roll-out of Instagram, it’s a good idea to organize some training, courses or a mentorship in order to get Mary on the same page as the rest of the organization.

Although no consultant can guarantee that a client will implement all their proposals and recommendations for change (no matter how great their planning for change management is). Although, there are a few ways that they can at least tip the scales in the favor of effective implementation. By following our advice in this article as well as some of our other online resources here, you will have the consulting change management edge you need.