Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Why Does Change Have to be Comprehensible?

The goal for change is always to make improvement or innovations happen, and it's a progressive journey to keep business move forward.

Change is inevitable, but more than two-thirds of change effort fail to achieve the expected results. Too often top management says they need to change or selects a set of numbers relative to goals and then unleashes a fancy name program on the organization and says "Change”! So it's no surprise that won't work. But why does change have to be comprehensible, and how to make change sustainable?
The enemy is not changing per se, it's the change without focus or purpose. One of the change mottoes is "never mistake motion for action." "The successful businesses are the ones that have learned WHEN change is called for and how to decide WHAT to change." Let's not let all these problems inherent in any change initiative, to get in the way of accepting the business facts that change is inevitable and needed in every business. The successful businesses are the ones that have learned HOW to implement change time after time after time. However, sometimes, the "change is inevitable' mantra that is used as an excuse to not really think things through or explain away perfectly valid concerns. Once the change becomes the focus, as opposed to the reason or objective of the change, the change train becomes unstoppable. The reason so many change initiatives are not comprehensible is that they don't make fundamental sense. Many times, teams have worked very hard to refine the processes involved with an initiative and things are just starting to go smoothly and customers are responding. Then, upheaval. For no good reason, other than vanity or change for change sake. The point is Change Management needs always go hand in hand with strategy management, program, project management or talent management, with clear business purpose and focus to get it sustainable.


There are two reasons to pursue change: Become better at what you do, or become able to do something different. Becoming better means removing obstacles. Any change that doesn't reduce the friction people experience in doing their jobs will be perceived as misdirected. Becoming something else means fundamental retooling that may call for different people as well as different processes. Asking people to do something they are not equipped to do just frustrates them with more incomprehension. if you aren't willing to train or retool, the change will fail. There are many idioms that refute the premise: "some things never change," "the more things change, the more they stay the same," "there's nothing new under the Sun," etc. The goal for change is always to make improvement or innovations happen, and it's a progressive journey to keep business move forward.


Change needs to be human-centered. Organizational Change is always difficult, and many organizations have the symptom of “change fatigue,” but if you can invest upfront and do a good job of communicating why the change is needed, to have empathy for letting people figure out What’s in Me,” the easier it may become. In the risk of invalidating the current culture and everything that is working, with this approach, you keep the opportunity open for defining and leveraging current strengths during the change process. People should know "where you are driving them to" and "what's in it for them." Therefore, besides a complete realistic plan, the KISS principle, you need to gain the important marketing skills before committing the Change Management Journey. When the group being changed takes on the responsibility to understand and manage through the change, it goes much better and it has much more sustainability.


Change Management requires a plan and strategy as well, change is not for its own sake, a clear vision, a systematic thinking and effective communication, the logical processes and exemplified change leadership are all the key success factors to overcome the challenges and manage changes smoothly. Well planned Change Management with comprehensible understanding will greatly reduce and practically eliminate the fear of change that derails good or even great intentions, and have a better opportunity to achieve expectations.

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