wHolistic Change℠ recommends creating Communities of Practice (CoPs) when driving change within an organization. CoPs are ongoing forums for employees to share best practices and to learn from one other.
Why are communities our preferred mechanism to establish change? Chapter 15 of “wHolistic Change: Delivering Corporate Change That Lasts” explains our reasoning:
The continuous improvement feedback loop from and to the change team is critical. This ensures that the change team stays in touch with the people directly affected by the change while they are going through the change, identifies issues and risks early on, and keeps the key stakeholders informed throughout the deployment as adjustments need to be made…
CoPs build credibility for the change team with the people affected by the change because the communities demonstrate that the change team understands the human impact of the change and that they want to involve the employees in formulating the change….
A closed feedback loop is especially important if the change team does not understand the ripple effect of the change they are implementing. The impacted stakeholders need a mechanism to explain the impact and to participate in redesigning the change to ensure business continuity and to ensure no disruption to your customers.
We know change is hard. However when impacted employees are given a way to connect with others who are going through the same change, share what is working, and suggest how things could be done better, they realize that they are not alone. When people believe that their voices are heard, they feel valued and are more willing to dip their toes into the water and try the change out for themselves. That is how change truly takes hold!