Friday, February 5, 2016

Three Big “Where”s in Change Management

Change is just the vehicle to elevate you toward the ultimate destinations.

Change comes in two forms; good change (improvement) or bad change (deterioration). The good change can drive business growth and collective progress; the bad change will deteriorate the business development, lead to negative perspectives or backward direction. And the purpose of Change Management is to enable and accelerate good change, discourage and eliminate bad changes. Change has to be orchestrated at all levels. Besides exploring WHY, WHAT, WHEN, WHO questions about changes, here is the last “W” -Where shall you change?

WHERE - Change the game is mindset: People are always the weakest link in any change or transformation effort. Change behaviors often only fix the symptom via manual control, but change mindset can be more innate to make business/digital transformation happen naturally. Hence, the digital mindset assessment is necessary to understand different thinking patterns and styles of employees or candidate, are they mostly systems thinker or intuitive thinker; more analytical or synthetic; more out of box thinker (critical & creative) to break the old rules, or more compliant to follow the orders; think more linear or nonlinear, holistic or mechanical way, etc. Technical competence, development potential, and culture adaptation are powerful together and add an element that is especially important in today's business environment and prepares for the continuous digital dynamic. Digital makes a huge impact on talent management, the emergence of social platforms provides the new way to learn, share and collaborate via direct applications at the corporate level. Change occurs at the level of the individual and it is only when the majority of people are on the journey equipped with the “changeable mind,” that the real results start to emerge. It is commonly noted that most of the 'top-down' driven programs are unsuccessful as they fail to enthuse functional stakeholders.

Change needs to be embedded into the mechanism of multiple management disciplines: Such as innovation management/project management/talent management etc. Change is the vehicle, not the purpose of doing a project. Change in and of itself is never the reason. Each project will no doubt have an element, process, procedure, associate motivation, win/win requirement, etc., that will require alteration (change), but that does not require the project manager to have change as a primary goal. The true business goals are always related to business growth, customer satisfaction or cost optimization, and then measure twice cut once, know how to measure, monitor and communicate the results of various projects across the enterprise so that all teams can contribute to the continuous improvement.

Where to change -Process optimization and organizational structure tuning are also the right place to experiment changes for the sake of business agility: Productivity increase comes from effective processes or technology, through new functionality can increase efficiency by certain percentage, but the higher percentage of productivity increase would come from bringing effectiveness & efficiency in the areas of processes changes (reengineering, eliminating waste, architecting new processes, etc.). Organizational structure tuning will also become more practical because digital technologies provide the new way to do things, extra channels to communicate, and alternative ways to get the work done: The option to build business physically or run virtually; the option to serve customer via traditional counter or digital channels; the option to work in the large building or the remote office. Always keep in mind of the clear business goals regardless where shall you change and how to change it.

Change is inevitable, and there are a lot of places you can make changes. But it’s also important to keep the delicate balance of flow and stability; where to change and how to change. Change can not be just another thing that needs to be accomplished. It has to be woven into action, process and communication of the organization and radical changes need to have mind shift. Navigating through these 5W+1H” questions does help to clarify change purpose and innovate Change Management scenario.   


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