Monday, August 17, 2015

How to Mentor Human Side of Business via Change Management

Change Management = the human side of change!

Change for all of us is inevitable, some of us get it quicker than others. So the challenge for organizations is to recognize who their people are and where these talented professionals can contribute to business success and feel valued along the way. From a change management perspective, what's the psychology behind the change? What are the principles to manage change? What would be a good way to empower change capabilities? And how to mentor the human side of business via Change Management?

A clear vision for the change needs to be established and then shared with the objective of getting people to sign up to it: One way to do this is to seek their active involvement so as to establish common goals and objectives, and hopefully, support. Seemingly irrational behavior is mostly rooted in rationality. For some people, change is easier than for others. But more importantly, you could learn from these people by going into discussions with them. One of the main reasons that so many change projects are not very successful is resistance and more, in particular, the passive or hidden resistance of people who say yes, but think no and execute at 50% capacity instead of 150%; when people are enthusiastic and involved the output grows exponentially and vice versa.

You have to understand the pressure for change and whether it's desired or not: Some change might be driven by regulation, and, therefore, you have no other option than to comply. Overall, though, it's important that the change initiative has senior sponsor support, otherwise, the initiative will go to the bottom of the pile. Change managers need to very strongly identify with the project and its outcome and are often under enormous time pressure, and, therefore, they do not always have enough time or project margin to deal with negative voices as they can pose a serious roadblock. The measuring of resistance, even anonymous, is not always reliable as people who do not agree also tend to distrust this process and give socially acceptable responses. It is also important to recognize that change takes time and if time is against you, an additional stress factor is added to the whole process. There are some processes (like involvement, engagement, etc) if done effectively, generally, have beneficial impacts on most people. But even in these cases, there will be individual variability. Communication in a traditional, hierarchical, bureaucratic organization will only go so far no matter how well it is done. Fundamental structural and cultural change is critical in most cases.

Change Management is about mentoring the human side of the business through profound, unsettling change: In a combination, the ideas tell the worker too, as a way to contribute to improving the business, take a positive-oriented initiative in crafting a good business case for their sticking around. If top management truly believes that their personnel is the true measure of their company's worth, then they'll hopefully do their utmost to make sure that personnel is educated, accepting and eventually invested in that change themselves. That means extensive training for HR itself, programs and policies to help all users learn what's needed, rewards for adopting the change and remediation programs to combat recidivism. And the best way to embracing a change tolerant environment is the employee who has been through it, it thriving and wants to see their peers thrive as well. Ultimately, you can only put the benefits of the new system in front of that group, give them the best tools possible including training/coaching, and keep evaluating and remediating their progress. The right thing to do is:

- Proactive communication: Very proactively communicate that it is normal for big changes to "not fit all" and to remind everyone that change is strategic and strategy is how the organization functions.
- Collecting feedback: Promote a "presumption of value" by asking "employees who don't see a fit" to volunteer their idea of what it is aside from the change that they think they "should" accomplish through.
-Objective review: State that the nature of change is a key to business growth and always needs an objective review, a good option is to join teams that help to measure the change for its risks and benefits.

Change Management = the human side of change! Change Management has a very wide scope and is a relatively new area of expertise. It needs to focus on coordination and facilitation, not bullying and forcing, follow the right set of principles and take the best practices.


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