Over the last couple of weeks, ELIAS blogs have explored Why Change is Hard and navigating the Change Maze. The third installment in our Change is Hard But Worth the Effort series focuses on the people piece – how to manage change.

Stagnancy stifles. In a world that seems to spin faster and faster, it’s more important than ever for businesses to keep moving and stay ahead of economic and technological changes and advances. Words like innovation and creativity are no longer associated with cutting-edge companies (the Innovators we discussed in Part 2); they are mainstream, essential for growth and success.

Whether you love it or hate it, change is necessary. Perhaps the leadership team is on board, ready to do things differently. Top-down management may have its benefits in some instances, but when it comes to change, it’s essential to have the support of your team. After all, they’re the ones who will actually execute the plan. Success or failure is in their hands.

Change disrupts finely tuned processes. It interrupts what is known and comfortable. It requires learning a new way of doing things and rewiring neural pathways. It’s hard! How, then, can leaders successfully implement change, especially shifts that upend and completely transform how things are done?

“Powerful and sustained change requires constant communication, not only throughout the rollout but after the major elements of the plan are in place. The more kinds of communication employed, the more effective they are.” – DeAnne Aguirre

Harvard Business Review published a great article on implementing organizational change, outlining 5 tips to garner success:

  1. Understand the Process of Change, from start to finish. Begin by preparing the organization and employees for what’s ahead by helping them understand the Why, the reason for the change, how it will be executed (the plan), and how it will become part of the corporate culture.
  2. Understand the Forces of Change  those factors and pressures that are driving the change, so that you can address them as they arise.
  3. Create a Plan that defines the scope of change, the key stakeholders who are impacted by it, the team responsible for implementation, and what’s required to complete it.
  4. Clearly and Frequently Communicate. This is critical to successful change. Your team will more fully embrace change when they understand the reason behind it, how it will be carried out, and the impact it will have on them and their roles.
  5. Anticipate Roadblocks. They’re guaranteed to pop up throughout the process. Equip your employees with the knowledge and tools they need to overcome challenges every step of the way.

As ELIAS continues with our clinical trials and expanding access to our cancer immunotherapy, we intentionally work through these steps with the veterinarians and clinics who partner with us. Providing clear processes, being available to answer questions, and supporting the teams who carry out the treatment is essential not only to the trials but to helping our canine patients and their people to share more memories and moments together.

ELIAS is a change agent, but it requires the belief and buy-in of our veterinary partners and their teams to truly make an impact. We are working closely with our stakeholders to provide the support they need to successfully incorporate our cancer immunotherapy into their medical practices. Change is hard, but it’s worth it!

Next week, we’ll wrap up the series by exploring how to create a culture of change.