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Family Business Change Management Tips in 2022

business change managementDid you know it’s estimated that 70% of change programs fail to reach their goals? Change can be good and needed, but it’s also very difficult to get people to change their ways. That’s why business change management is important for companies of every size.

Change can be tough in any company, but a change in a family business can feel like going through a hurricane. Aside from the usual difficult feelings that come along with change, you have family dynamics and history thrown into the mix.

If you want to see real change in business and still be able to sit down to a family dinner, we have some tips you need to read.

Set Realistic Expectations

Sometimes the reasons why change doesn’t happen at family businesses have very little to do with the people or the proposed change. Occasionally it’s sky-high expectations that ensure work won’t get done.

It’s going to be difficult to convince your penny-pinching father and company CEO to invest in new computers for the entire staff. It can be far more realistic to suggest one new software program that can help people work more efficiently.

Recalibrate your expectations and think about different scenarios where you can achieve your ultimate goal. Think about what needs to happen, what can be nice to have, and what would be a stretch/perfect world goal. This makes it much easier to plan and helps you make the right moves.

Get People Involved

You’re excited to reveal your new inventory system. Unfortunately, the wind gets knocked out of your sails when your sibling accuses you of purposely planning things behind their back.  How could such a good idea get such a chilly reception?

Openness and transparency are important for any business, but that’s especially true for family-owned ones. Nobody wants to feel like they’re left out of big decisions, so avoid problems before they start by getting people involved as soon as you start thinking about making a change.

Getting the opinions of other people can do more than simply helping them feel involved in a project. Their point of view could identify potential holes or problems in your initial idea, or could add their own ideas to make it into something even better than what you planned!

Create Buy-In

It doesn’t matter if you’re proposing a small change or a complete overhaul of a department, service, or product. If you can’t show people why it’s worth it to put time and money into making your change, the change won’t happen.

Want to know the best way to create buy-in? Find proof that supports your proposed change!

Look for statistics, case studies, and articles that can back up your claims. Do a little research into direct competitors that have made similar changes and are seeing great results. Get feedback from customers and other employees that show your line of thinking.

Leave Baggage at the Door

You’re still not happy about the comment your Aunt Ruth made about your kids at the BBQ. Unfortunately, she’s in charge of marketing and you want to pitch your new social media campaign idea to her.

Finding a way to untangle personal problems and feelings from your professional life can be a struggle. If you want to see your change through, you’re going to have to find a way to manage your feelings so you can still work with your family members.

We know that this is something that’s much easier said than done. If you’re struggling to work because of family conflicts, consider talking to the person outside of work in a neutral place so you can resolve the conflict. Talk to a counselor on your own or with the person you’re having issues with to see if you can work things out.

Come Up with a Plan

Before you start making moves for change, come up with a plan around how you think you should handle the change. This helps show that you’ve carefully thought about the proposed change and that you’re willing to put in the work needed to make it happen.

You don’t need to come to management with a carefully detailed plan that outlines everything from start to finish. Having some general ideas around resources needed, manpower, and cost can be enough to get the ball rolling and plan something great with more people.

Identify How to Measure Success

After months of meetings, prep, and testing, your big change has finally happened! What needs to happen for you to call your change a success?

The difficult truth is that success and completion are not the same things. Simply doing what you said you would doesn’t mean that the change you proposed was the right thing to do. This is why it’s important to think about what signifies success for you before you make the change.

Did you implement a new POS system because the old one was confusing and slow? Measure how long it takes to check out customers and survey employees to see if they feel like the new system is an improvement.

It’ll be difficult to have your ideas taken seriously or make future changes if your first big one isn’t seen as a positive change. Think about what key metrics you can measure that tie back into why you made the change in the first place.

Tackle Business Change Management the Way Pros Do

Business change management can get tricky when the family is involved, but it’s far from impossible. When you approach change management with the right mindset you’ll be amazed at everything you can accomplish!

We know what it takes to build and grow successful family businesses. Whether you want help figuring out what’s next or just want to get started, we’re ready to talk about the best solutions for you and the family. Get in touch with us today so we can talk about the best way to handle your family business consulting needs.