Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Change Management at the Cross Road: When to Make a Big Jump, When to Take Small Steps

“Changeability” becomes an important measure to assess a person or a business’s potential, agility, and maturity.

Due to the “VUCA” new normal of the digital age, either at the individual or organizational level, “Changeability” becomes an important measure to assess a person or a business’s potential, agility, and maturity. Unfortunately, change is not as easy as it sounds, more than two-thirds of business change initiatives fail to reach the expectation. Change Management in many organizations seems to be at the crossroad- Should you take an audacious approach of accelerating digital transformation, or take small steps for making incremental changes? What are the bottlenecks for changes, and how to avoid pitfalls in making a big leap?


Build a change roadmap and identify the change capability gaps: The logic scenario to manage change life cycle and build change management capability is to develop the initial value proposition and determine demand and estimated pipeline. Every transformation needs a roadmap or a change management agenda to build up the competency center, sharpen the strategy, identify gaps, communicate the buy-in, empower the team, and manage the quick win, to realize the long-term result through the iterative approach. Also assess current state capability in change management (people, process, technology), and identify the gaps, in order to develop the target state change management capability which is crucial to make a big change happen and sustainable.


Establish change management capability leadership practice: From envisioning to communicating changes, change communication should be two-way trust: both from top-down such as executive’s elevator change pitch, more importantly through front-line employee’s commitment. Empower change agents, evangelists via the right change incentives, but also need to build the organization-wide change network to seek constructive opinion, consistent engagement, and continuous improvement. Lots of people think of change as being only suitable during the roll out whereas. Change experts know it concerns the entire project from gap analysis through monitoring the change. It is not surprising that there are conflicting definitions as the change management is different in every organization. The way change is done is also rapidly changing. Hence, it’s important to keep tuning change processes, build recombinant chang capabilities, develop the next change practices and scale up change effort seamlessly.  


Source change leaders/agent with the right mindsets, appropriate skills to deliver desired capability: Technology, process, and people are all important to changes. Still, people are change masters. The leaders need to be the Change Champions to walk the talk, to set the right tone for others to follow. How bold change initiatives would be often dependent on how inspirational, aggressive and motivational change leaders are. Successful transformations require leaders to over-communicate the transformation vision. Unclear communication for vision, goals, the need for change, benefits of change and each one's role in the change is a huge mistake. Empower your change agents, build a culture of innovation and change. Look for talent with extensive change experience and has a grasp on managing the human side of change such as perception, psychology, or communications, and manage change in a systematic way with detailed methodology, tools against value proposition identified earlier.

Change is unavoidable. There is often no shortcut for change. Think big and start small. Do not get limited by outdated rules and believe in creativity that can beat down the conventional wisdom and mediocre mentality, to move the business and the world forward. Do not lose the vision for the large leap, long jump, and radical digital transformation. Do not get stuck at the crossroad, keep building your “changeability,” and be ready for changes in a bold way with the step-wise approach.

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