5 Steps to Implementing Follow-Through in Change Initiatives

Hands shaking in change initiatives

Think of organizational change as setting sail on a new adventure, where flexibility is your compass and creativity is the wind in your sails. However, it’s important to remember that the journey doesn’t end once you’ve started. It’s about maintaining a strong momentum, weathering storms, and staying on course until you reach your destination.

In this guide, we’ll explore the reasons why it is important to stick to your plans and keep the process moving smoothly when your organization implements change initiatives. We’ll show you how to keep track of your progress, maintain your energy, and ensure that you’re on the right path. So, get ready to chart your course!

Understanding Continuity in Change

It is important to maintain continuity when it comes to change initiatives for several reasons. To begin with, continuity in an organization’s change initiative ensures that the focus remains on achieving the intended change objectives, rather than falling back to old practices. Additionally, it supports the implementation of new behaviors and processes that the change initiative aims to establish. Lastly, continuity provides a structure for the organization to monitor the progress of the change and make any necessary adjustments.

Here are 5 steps to follow to implement follow-through and achieve continuity in your change initiatives:

1.    Monitor Progress

Why Is It Important to Track Progress in Change Initiatives?

First, it allows us to measure the effectiveness of our efforts and make adjustments along the way. Second, everyone involved is held accountable for their responsibilities, ensuring that we are all working towards the same goal. Third, and most importantly, tracking progress helps celebrate our successes. Recognizing and celebrating our accomplishments can inspire us to continue pushing forward and achieve even greater things.

2.    Navigate the Unpredictable Challenges

Change management often involves unforeseen challenges. Here are a few common ones:

  • Employee Resistance: Change can unsettle people, disrupting set routines and leading to pushback. This resistance might manifest as disengagement, a drop in productivity, or even overt opposition to the changes. Effective communication, training, and support can help foresee and address resistance proactively.
  • Impact on Culture: Changes can necessitate a shift in the organization’s values, beliefs, and behaviors. Understanding how the changes will align with or challenge the existing culture can help. Investment in cultural change initiatives, such as leadership development programs or team-building activities, may be necessary.
  • Lack of Resources and Management Support: Implementing change initiatives often requires additional resources — financial, technological, or human resources. Without adequate support, implementation can become challenging. Make sure you fully assess the available resources and secure the necessary support before implementing any changes.

3.    Maintain the Momentum

Sustaining momentum is crucial to avoid stagnation, reinforce new behaviors and processes, and foster a culture of continuous improvement.

Strategies to Maintain Momentum

  • Regular Check-in Calls: These provide a platform for participants to share updates, address challenges, and celebrate successes.
  • Communities of Practice: These allow individuals to connect with peers, exchange ideas, and collaborate on solutions, providing ongoing support and encouragement.
  • Institutionalizing Change: To mitigate the risk of initiatives losing steam due to funding constraints, endeavor to institutionalize the changes you are implementing.
  • Diversifying Funding: By reducing reliance on a single funding stream, you can create a more resilient and sustainable funding model for future initiatives.

4.    Implement Post-Change Strategies

Post-change strategies offer a structured approach to track progress, assist in reinforcing the new behaviors and processes, and keep the organization focused on the change objectives.

Key Elements of Post-Change Strategies:

  • Lead By Example: Leaders should model the new behaviors and processes.
  • Provide Ongoing Training and Support: As employees adjust to new ways of doing things, they may need additional training and support. 
  • Recognize and Reward New Behaviors: Recognition and rewards can help reinforce the new behaviors and processes and motivate everyone involved in the change initiative.

A Real-Life Example

Dawn Chorus Group worked with a non-profit that embarked on an ambitious initiative aimed at enhancing health equity. Initial enthusiasm was followed by a common dip in momentum after implementation. To counter this, regular check-in calls and communities of practice were established to maintain engagement.

The initiative strategically worked towards institutionalizing change, embedding health equity principles into existing structures, and diversifying funding sources. These efforts ensured ongoing progress, and the non-profit was able to overcome the challenges associated with fading novelty and potential funding constraints.

Dawn Chorus Group’s assessment team is standing by to assist you to make the most of your change initiatives. Contact us today!

In the final part of this series, we will analyze a real-life case study that presents effective change management in a complex scenario. Stay tuned for the conclusion of this series on navigating readiness challenges in organizational change.