Thursday, May 14, 2015

Change is Good! Successfully Navigating Change in Your Center

By: Sean Hawkins

Change is inevitable! If you don’t manage it, it will manage you, and the results can be disastrous!  So, what are some ways to successfully navigate change?  This was the key agenda item discussed by contact center thought leaders Sarah Reed, Gerry Barber, Larry Eiser, Brad Cleveland at Contact Center Expo & Conference 2015

What made this session meaningful, besides receiving wisdom from a great panel, was the use of actual case studies.  The panelists were able to describe in detail the methodologies used to bring about change while avoiding some of the primary pain points associated with the change process.

The panel discussed the following four phases to change that must be managed:

  • Denial
  • Resistance
  • Commitment
  • Exploration

Each presents a unique set of behavioral challenges that will hinder effective change.  Emphasis was placed on how to reconcile these behaviors, right the ship, and bring a transformation that is meaningful.  A sentiment shared among the entire panel was to understand change is not a swift process. As Brad stated, “you can’t turn the ship around overnight, but you can start the turn overnight”. This is done by admitting and accepting there is a problem.

Through each step in the cycle of change, the audience was presented with the actual steps the speakers undertook to guide the people and processes.  Examples of the behaviors displayed, and thoughts expressed in each phase were discussed along with some best practices to correctly manage them.

  1. Some particularly noteworthy comments:
  2. Inspire and coach during change
  3. Change is journey, not a destination
  4. Establish your baseline and your vision
  5. Get the right people “on board”
  6. Effective communication with all stakeholders is a must
  7. Celebrate the journey and each milestone

This group of thought leaders gave relevant content that has been tested and utilized throughout their careers. For those going through change, the process became less daunting as a result of this informative session.  Many in the crowd expressed the pleasure in attending and look forward to returning to their respective contact centers with a renewed outlook.

This article originally appeared on ICMI.

Sean is a Contact Center manager with over 15 years of experience. He has a terrific pulse on incorporating innovation into the contact center. He's implemented social, outsourcing partners, new technology, and new products, while maintaining an award-winning contact center.
His contact center is a past winner of the ICMI "Global Call Center of the Year" award for Small to Medium-Sized Centers.
Follow on Twitter @SeanBHawkins

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