Thursday, April 16, 2015

People Centric Change Management

The purpose of people-centric Change Management is to build an ongoing change capability.

Digital is the age of people. The human element of change entails a people-centric approach to management style; thus, empowering the workforce to embrace change is a most effective, efficient and result-oriented management in organizations, but how to manage it in a systematic way?

Change objectives depend on the human objective: Irrespective of whatever strategy is selected, all change objectives (business, technical, service, safety, performance) depend entirely on the human objective. Change is a continuum and once you accept that life will be a constant shift going on around us, then you are able to seek ways and means of adjusting your perspectives and those around you. The management system needs to be the alerts you put in place that act as tuning forks to enable you to view the timing, tempo, and harmonies going on, or not.

Self-awareness might be the first step to getting involved in a change process: Sometimes people are not part of change because they feel like they don't need any transformation, and even the ones who recognize the importance or urgency of change, do not understand their own role, impact and most importantly, emotions involved in a change process. Self-awareness means the true recognition and total perception of the current state (environment, workplace, etc.) as it is, one's role in that state and its impact, why and where that state needs to be changed, one's participation and the influence on others and the results expected.

It's important that you make your employees feel like they are a big part of the changes that need to be made: One sure fire way to make the change process more difficult is to have upper management come in with an "iron fist" and just change things. The employees’ input helps get to the point of change. Once the employees feel fully invested in the change and they see upper management is fully invested in the change, then the likelihood of the change being made more smoothly exist. It also makes it possible for everyone to be on the same page speaking the same language and fosters an atmosphere of accountability. Execution requires varying degrees of micromanaging so that everyone as practical will understand the change, how their responsibilities are affected, and exactly how they will have a new impact on the process. This will help re-establish each person's comfort zone with greater acceptance in their new role.

There are two elements that are critical to bringing in the human element in a change management program: These are fairness and communication. Fairness is an aspect that will be noticed and each team member both in the affected and the not affected will see that and accept change. Treat them same by treating them differently, change is about putting the right people in the right position to unleash their talent. The second element is communication, not just descriptive communication to articulate, but more about creative communication to inspire. Constant communication with team members is critical. The leadership team must push this agenda, but pull the resources to achieve it.
-"Big WHY"-the purpose for the change- people will always support what they understand.
-Identifying the champions- you should know who the guys on your team who can/are running with it. Support them and motivate them.
- Be flexible- change will always involve failures as well as success. Reinforce success but don't punish failures. Remember change management is a gradual process.
-The culture of agility: Build a working environment that is conducive to change.

After the big WHY, following “What” and “How” part of change: It is key allowing people to become invested in the change, otherwise it will not occur. The issue in reference to integrating the human element is in the ‘what’ and in the ‘how’ of the ‘allowing.’ To be part of the change process, people should be given an uncensored package of information so they can make fully informed judgment about whether and how embarking the change program that was designed or in the process design. Managers must understand and accept the changes first so they can be believable communicators throughout the process. Lots of listening includes senior management availability, and if not then have a temporary change manager who is focused on the change process. Use change agents to reinforce and enthuse others. Have problem-solving forums for any issues that may be contentious, so that staff can have genuine input if possible. But the key step is to review the changes honestly so that in the future the trust will be greater.

People-centric CHANGE methodology is evident reinforcement and proof of "best practice" leadership and management. People can be resistant to change for several reasons namely for being taken out of their comfort zone and it should be unequivocally understood. Business will be more successful when they realize that one of their greatest strengths will be their change capability. That being said, it requires a plan and strategy as well and most importantly the execution. Well-planned execution will greatly reduce and practically eliminate the fear of change that derails good or even great intentions.


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