Thursday, June 30, 2016

Three Barriers in Change Management

Be humble, desire insight, squash arrogance, and be cognizance of unknown.

Change is inevitable, and the speed of change is increasing. How capable the business is handling change would directly impact on the business competency. However, there is a high failure rate of Change Management statistically. What are the big barriers and how to craft change as an ongoing capability?

Ineffective change leadership: Change needs to have reasons: Remember no one like change especially when one can not identify the justification for the change, the “What’s It In Me” argument. Lack of effective change leadership is no doubt one of the root-causes to fail change efforts. Successful transformations require leaders to over-communicate the transformation vision. Unclear communication for vision, goals, the need for change, benefits of change and each one's role in the change is a huge mistake. The top leaders need to be the Change Agent to walk the talk, to set the right tone for others to follow. Top leaders' sponsorship for change is absolutely helpful, and change also must be adopted and led by all of the first line managers who can then drive the specific change activities from bottom-up. Only through effective leadership, change management can be well designed and practiced systematically.

Silo Mentality: Silo mentality is a common challenge for lots of organizations to make change sustainable and ensure the business as a whole is superior to the sum of pieces. In essence, with a silo mentality, organizations lose their collaborative advantage as they are being over managed and under led, remain disconnected, hoard knowledge and power within silos, have change inertia, and do not have the competence to collaborate in the long term. Even businesses step into the hyper-connected digital world, many business managers and professional still apply old silo management mindsets to new ways of organizing, and this legacy of the old economy limits many 'networked' organizations. In today's volatile economy, nothing impedes change and progress more than protective silos which are simply a form of bureaucratic amorphous mass designed to preserve the status quo. Hence, the breakdown of the silo mentality is one of the important requirements for Change Management success.

Ignorance of unknown: There is no prescribed change formula, or one size fits all change scenario. Businesses are different, people are different, the very goal of each change initiative is also different. Therefore, you have to be humble to realize there are many things you know you don’t know and perhaps even more which you don't know what you don't know. Until that happens, you will continue in the lives of blindness. Change is the team effort, encourage all employees to provide feedback, ask questions, and participate change proactively, to expand their view of the business and gain a holistic understanding of changes. As a change leader or manager, be humble, desire insight, squash arrogance, and be cognizance of unknown. Do not fuel the fire with an over-reaction, but provide calm inquiry clearing the blind spots to help find out what is really happening, and drive changes effortlessly.

'Change' is continuously happening in the environment of a company. The desires of stakeholders, clients, and employees are evolving naturally. The change or overall business transformation journey is thorny, there are many roadblocks on the way. Change Management, therefore, should be an adequate, logical, and systematic effort to any environmental shift. And now, social and enterprise collaboration tools do provide effective and interesting digital platforms to make change more tangible and measurable. Do not make a change just as a one-time initiative, but an ongoing business capability for achieving long-term prosperity.


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