Friday, June 19, 2015

Change Management Starts with Big Why

Many organizations focus so heavily on the "doing" (the"HOW"), they lose sight of the "purpose" (the "WHY").

Change is everywhere and it happens every moment in the workplace, but, unfortunately, people rarely recognize that; or sometimes change is for its own sake, so how to manage change by starting with Big WHY?

It is the key to present the WHY first. Primarily, it provides a way to inject enthusiasm, which is infectious and spurs the concept forward. Once people agree with the WHY, they can develop their own level or means of participating, maybe even offering what you didn't think to ask for, expanding the efficiency of the concept itself, thereby re-injecting further excitement in their being part of it. It becomes our project. "Why" should not only precede "How," but should be reaffirmed at each step in the "How." Every process, every expenditure of time, money, or energy, and every assignment of resources should directly relate back to the "Why." Useless processes not related to the "why" built over time through tradition; or tribal habit should be analyzed, improved to applicability, or abandoned. Many organizations focus so heavily on the "doing" (the "how"), they lose sight of the "purpose" (the "why"), the "HOW" was originally designed to achieve. They reach a point at which 90% of their efforts are towards processes that are not aligned towards or, in some cases, directly in opposition to the achievement of the real goal of the organization.

Leaders should contemplate the big "WHY" and know the dynamic of change and act upon it. By communicating with why and creating a team sense, leaders can overcome resistance to change. In short, the more we know about a change and the more we feel it is necessary and urgent, the more we are to accept the change. But many leaders from top organizations do know the "why," but deliberately hold it from the team, the doers of the "how." Because if they reveal the why the inside story is on everyone's lips and secrets of the company are out. The leaders should still let the team come up with the "why" and see if there are any gaps. If you want a buy-in from the employees, doing a thorough job of the rationale or "why" is all that's required. Often companies waste a lot of time on the "how" anyways since that's the freedom the employees can have, and you should give that room to personalize how something needs to be accomplished rather than prescribed. Integrating leadership development within people to achieve the desired mission, goals and results. It is a collaborative effort no matter how big or small the mission/project is. If we want to inspire, create and innovate, we have to develop a more integrated/collaborative style of working with each other.

C-level educates the Board and employees on WHY culture innovation is important: The area of culture suffers from an imbalance of over-conceptualized offerings vs. a simple, pragmatic, operational approach. On the other hand, if senior people could just witness the practical difference that employees make when they are fully engaged with the brand and values, they would be interested. Ultimately, culture is the only sustainable point of differentiation, so, why would you not be interested in the DNA of your organization - Culture? Culture is how the group of people think and do things, the big WHY of many phenomena happening there. The shareholder value has to start somewhere and that somewhere may begin with a positive corporate culture. A company with a positive corporate culture that is aligned with the values of a company will likely outperform their competition within their market. Those companies which can successfully transform their cultures do a few specific things to ensure success and sustained commitment: First, the CXOs take ownership of the culture, does not delegate it to a function, program or initiative to functional heads. By keeping the culture led from the top and alignment of the entire senior team around it, the CXOs also put in place a meaningful set of objectives and defines measurements of success, in both quantitative and qualitative way. As early on in the process as possible, the C-level fully educates the board on WHAT the cultural transformation is needed, what it will take in terms of time, money, and ongoing commitment and provides the cultural road map. He or she also must provide the business case and expected ROIs to desired outcomes, whether it be a business model shift, a merger integration or to create a more agile culture of innovation, etc.

Business Change Management is managing everything that is necessary to get people to adopt new ways of thinking and working, by starting with the big WHY. Change Management can fine tune corporate culture, process, and talented employees, and people always support what they understand, the Big WHY will dig deeper, to make change radical and sustainable.


Did we need an article to elaborate on the obvious - that the Why comes first and the How comes later?

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