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When your dealership organization implements projects or initiatives to improve productivity, seize opportunities, or address other key issues, it usually requires changes…changes to processes, job roles, organizational structures, and/or applications of new technology. However, it is actually the employees of your dealership who have to ultimately change how they do their jobs.

Change management is the discipline that guides how we prepare and support our employees to successfully adopt change in order to drive dealership success. Although all changes are unique and all employees are unique, there are actions we can take to influence people in their individual adaptation. If these employees are unsuccessful in their personal transitions…if they don’t embrace and learn a new way of working…the initiative will fail. If employees embrace and adopt the changes required by the initiative…it will deliver the expected results.

Little can alter the fact that change and disruption are hard on individuals and teams. When faced with an unexpected or unwelcome transition, it's human nature to immediately descend into fear and doubt. To help overcome this, we must perform certain necessary tasks…if we're going to give change the greatest chance of success. Those tasks involved in sound change management include, but are definitely not limited to:

  • Developing a clear statement of the need for change…and effectively communicating this need to our employees.
  • Forecasting the effects of the change on our employees…and preparing to address any negative impacts of the change.
  • Ensuring that the employees affected by the change understand the process differences…and providing training, help, and support during process conversion.
  • Accepting the fact that any time there's a significant change at the dealership there will be a natural dip in productivity, as individuals and teams react and adapt to a new environment, a new set of processes, a new organizational structure, or a new leadership team.
  • Looking at the announced change through the eyes of each department or person, and giving everybody sufficient time to work through their own individual reactions.
  • Identifying and communicating the key performance indicators (KPIs) for a successful change…and making sure that the KPIs are regularly measured and score-boarded.

All too often, dealership changes meet many prerequisites but fail to deliver expected results. We've invested in proven systems and processes, we've trained all those involved, and we think we've made their lives easier. Yet, people persist in their old ways.

I have had extensive experience in managing change at more than 300 dealerships, and I assure you that organizations don't just change because of new systems, processes, or structures. They change because the people within the dealership adapt and change too. Only when the people within it have made their own personal transitions can an organization truly reap the benefits of change. To learn more about how Garry House & Associates can help you manage change at your dealership, go to


Garry House


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