Six steps to perfect change at your brokerage

John Hilton
Not unlike David Bowie, Daniel Lock, principal of Daniel Lock Consulting, has been inspired to write about change. In contrast to the English pop star, however, Lock has authored an eBook on change management, rather than a hit song.

Change is particularly relevant for mortgage brokers, whether it’s through outsourcing, new technology or diversification, as the industry is constantly in transition.

For the best possible outcome, all stakeholders involved must coordinate their approach in a structured and organised manner, says Lock.

“Change, whether it’s strategic, process or technology driven means people need to alter their behaviours,” he says.

“Most leaders and managers vastly underestimate how hard it is to change behaviour.”

Indeed, research shows that 70% of change efforts fail and that technology solutions alone do not drive productivity.

Lock offers the following advice to implement change effectively: 
  1. Enlist the support and involvement of key people
Ensure there is a coalition of key stakeholders involved and that their contributions are valued. The strategic direction and the benefits of the change must be clearly articulated so that everybody is in alignment.
 
  1. Craft a good plan
Don’t go into such a huge amount of detail that people will struggle to be persuaded by it. The plan must be simple and clearly define roles and responsibilities. Get key people who will affected by the plan to be involved in crafting it. Make sure the sections of the plan are small and achievable.
 
  1. Support the plan with consistent behaviours
No matter what the change is, it's important that all levels of staff are seen to be “walking the talk”. For example, if you are going to be putting in a system where people can raise issues of concern without being identified, you need to honour that 100% in terms of confidentiality.
 
  1. Develop “enabling structures”
Think through what the enabling structures are and the enabling tools that people will need to adopt change. It seems obvious, but it’s often forgotten. This could be through face to face or online training. Face to face training is particularly helpful, despite the convenience of implementing it online.
 
  1. Celebrate milestones
Celebrate the fact that progress has been made to help create momentum. This generates motivation, stakeholder interest and projects confidence that you can achieve the longer term vision. Just make sure you don’t confuse milestones with a premature victory. You need to be persistent and make sure your group can see it through.
 
  1. Communicate relentlessly
This could be the most important step. Think about politicians in elections. They will repeat their messages ad nauseam because they know this is essential to getting their points across to the public. Ongoing communication will help overcome resistance and also allows employees a say in the process. Don’t just rely on email; use a variety of forms such as physical handouts, daily briefings, business meetings and so on. Make sure all the messages are aligned, consistent and repetitive.

Click here to download a free copy of Daniel Lock’s eBook, The Fundamentals of Change Management

Has your brokerage managed change effectively? Share your thoughts below.
 

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