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Implementing Change – Phase 7- Create Closure

Getting to the beginning of the new status quo is a long and difficult journey. It deserves celebration. Both to say good-bye to the past, and hello to the future.

Celebrate Achievements

No organization today, is undergoing only one change. Every organization is undergoing a storm of changes. It is unreasonable to expect that one day soon, every thing will settle down and you’ll get back to a sense of calm. This makes it all the more important to recognize when a particular change has been accomplished and completed. The celebration can be a major party, a trip to a foreign land… or just a team meeting with coffee and doughnuts. Celebrating does not require a huge financial budget. It does require an attitude, an understanding that people work better when their efforts are appreciated. People also just like to ‘party’.

Hold a Good-bye party for the passing of a Status Quo

People also like rituals. They enjoy burning the mortgage papers… or the source code for the system they’ve just replaced. Saying good-bye to the old status quo in some formal, pompous manner, puts it behind us, allows us to seal it off in our memory and accept the new status quo with no reservations.

Funerals respect the dead… they also allow the living to move ahead

Sometimes a change generates casualties. It’s all too easy to try and hide the fact that 20 people were laid off in a change. It’s healthy to find some way to talk openly about the past, in order to get it ‘out of our systems’. Do this carefully. It’s possible to reopen old wounds.

Wrapping Up

The seven phases of steps, questions, strategies, suggestions and guidelines are independent of any particular change. They are useful if you are considering to move your family from one city to another, or implementing a set of policies and procedures for PC usage, or automating some accounting process, or changing the e-mail system throughout your organization, or moving from one location to another. Change is change. These tips are also, by the very nature of change, incomplete. They address some key concepts and ignore others. They are mere sketches of what should be taken into account during any change, to get the full picture of what is required during a change, you must be involved in that particular change. It has been said that change management is an oxymoron. Hopefully, the above list will suggest to you that while change management is difficult, it is not impossible to have some positive impact on the process. Good Luck in your next project.

Editor’s note: This wraps up the seven phases of Peter de Jager’s methodology in weekly posts. Click here for phase 1, phase 2, phase 3, phase 4, phase 5, and phase 6.

© 2015 Peter de Jager – Reprinted with Permission

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