Monday, April 1, 2019

Three Aspects of Change Management

Change is chaotic, change management needs to be well designed and practiced systematically.

Closer to reality is that 'change' is continuously happening in the environment of a company. It is nevertheless true that the change itself has become unpredictable and evolutionary. From the business management perspective, change cannot be just another thing that needs to be accomplished, it’s the common practice, multidimensional management discipline,  and ongoing business competency. The business will be more successful when they realize that one of their greatest strengths will be their changeability. Here are three aspects of Change Management.

Tactical changes or behavior changes: Generally speaking, there are two types of change - reactive and proactive. The business environment is constantly changing, it forces the business to adjust. Reactive change is about being adaptive to change that has already occurred or is underway. Proactive change implies anticipation of either internal or external way through predicting and planning. Staffs can be motivated or empower themselves to make behavior changes with practices and make their daily working environment better, improve productivity, efficiency, or creativity. Besides behavior changes, there are tactical changes such as updating technologies, optimizing processes, and making continuous change deliveries. From a change management perspective, short-term behavior changes are common under pressure. You can certainly change behaviors with the right push, but manual changes might breed discontent and, in the long term, people revert to their original habits, most of the time. Change needs to have reasons. Keep in mind, no one like change, or more precisely “being manually changed,” especially when one cannot identify the justification for the change. Let people be part of the direction, speed and the way you are heading. In practice, the barriers to change include, but not limited to lack of direction, internal politics, the culture of inertia or finger-pointing, misaligned systems/processes, too much hierarchy or centralization. To improve changeability, it’s important to provide effective change frameworks or tools, enable and motivate teams to select the best options, help them align all options from teams in order to deliver optimal change results consistent with the strategic intent of the organization. Change is happening at a more rapid pace, it takes a lot of energy to break down old habits and outdated thought processes, and it takes the time to communicate the expected outcome with consideration of the "right" way, allows the team to have room make continuous improvement.

Change Management principles and guidelines: Change is difficult because it is not just about some hard processes to follow, but there are a lot of soft touches. Running a dynamic business is about developing a digital organization in which change is the new normal and happens the whole time. Thereby, it's important to deliver faster and increasing market share, keep business activities relating to change initiatives; take advantage of the latest technological tools for communicating and collaborating. To improve change effectiveness and keep the change wheel spinning, it’s also critical to establish change principles that inform and support the way in which an organization sets about managing changes effectively by motivating and rewarding good behaviors and discouraging bad ones because people’s behavior usually responds to how they are measured. In many circumstances, organizational or social circumstances are only amended by rules, policies or process, they sound practical, perhaps that’s the only way most of the managers have learned to handle problems. Running a changing organization doesn’t mean just tear down all the old things in the previous era; it means to strike the right balance between the new way and old ways to do things. The digital principles are not some outdated cliche or overly rigid rules to stifle creativity. Instead, they should help to shape a culture of learning and change, build well-rounded business capabilities, and run up all important stages for reaching a higher level of digital maturity.

Change mindsets: In today's work environment, mind-shift is one of the most challenging parts of Change Management.  Change Management intends to change employees’ behavior. But behaviors are driven by attitude, attitude results from thoughts, assumptions, and preferences. Those are the result of years of habits and reinforcement. The fixed or rigid mind usually won’t allow a person to think beyond a point. Those mindsets can be described as static, defensive, resist, or reject, anything that affects the cozy comfort zone. It takes a lot of energy to break down old habits and outdated thought processes; or change the organization culture - the collective mindset and attitude. In fact, it is challenging to overcome silo mentality, get out of comfort zone, and fix problems at the mindset level. Change enablement through appropriate engagement is an important element of dealing with complex change. Change cannot be just another thing that needs to be accomplished. It has to be woven into the collective mentality, process, communication of the organization and action. To drive radical change or sustain change behavior, it’s often important to deprogram old mindsets, and reprogram people’s mind with digital thinking, updated knowledge, digital norms, and positive attitudes, and establish a new blueprint to inspire changes. The important digital principles for Change Management could be: Change the mindset - the software first, and then other hardware change will follow. It’s also important to provide people with sufficient and updated information, navigate people through new experiences, expose them to additional data through those experiences, and doing that purposefully will create abundant opportunities to shift beliefs, mindsets, attitudes, which will ultimately change their behaviors in a lasting manner.

Change is chaotic, change management needs to be well designed and practiced systematically. The effective approaches need to integrate the fundamentals of change management, such as strategy, talent, process, structure, culture, and It should be an adequate, logical, and systematic effort to any environmental shift and ensure the associated benefits to be achieved. It's an ongoing business capability with multi-stepped processes that include both change resolution and management disciplines.


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