Thursday, August 11, 2016

Change Management Success is not Accidental, but a Capability

The real key to change management is the internal process humans go through in transition.

Change is inevitable, and the speed of change is increasing as well. Too often changes are made as a reaction to outer impulses, crisis, and demands. This is the bureaucracy’s way of meeting the challenges. Unfortunately, more than two-thirds of Change Management fails to achieve expectations. Also, it means only very few businesses can manage change effectively. So is Change Management success accidental? And how to beat the odds in managing changes as an ongoing capability more effectively?
One of the major barriers to successful change is the lack of a change plan: Change is more than a goal, it must be accompanied with well thought out execution plans. Change management is the overarching umbrella that encompasses extensive planning, outreach, communications, the discovery of concerns, objections, potential points of failure, addressing fears and resistance, developing a shared vision, communicating valid and compelling reasons for cooperation. Well planned Change Management with comprehensible understanding will greatly reduce and practically eliminate the fear of change that derails good or even great intentions, and have a better opportunity to achieve expectations. In practice, top management sponsorship is critical for change management success; at a tactical level, working in cooperation with a change manager, schedule your change activities as part of the planning - this will ensure that the cart is never before the horse, and there is sufficient time to prepare the stakeholders for the changes on the way. Aiming is critical -- meaning execution planning. Change Management involves process and people with the following formula:
Process = Goal +Management + Procedures + Training + Metrics
People = Leadership + Vision +Development + Innovation + Motivation

Take the logical scenario to build Change Management capability, and manage change life cycle:

 (1)  Develop the initial value proposition and determine demand and estimated pipeline
 (2)  Assess current state capability in change management (people, process, technology)
 (3)  Develop the target state change management capability, and identify the gaps
(4)  Establish change management capability leadership principles and practices
(5)  Source appropriate skills to deliver desired capability (internal / market /partners)
(6)  Establish a change management team and enable them with detailed methodology, tools, products,  services against value proposition identified
(7) Organizational Change Management capability can be built into the organizational culture. The approach would require the following:
 a) Germinating (Seeding) a culture of change- Shared vision and values- leadership as a role    model;
          b) Clarity and transparency in communications (strategic initiatives) thereby nipping
uncertainty, ambiguity, and doubt which reduces resistance when implementing change.
          c)  Continuous engagement through formal and informal methods.
          d)  Train employees across all levels as change agents managers with leaders being
enablers and facilitators.
 (8) Identify change agents within the business; empower change champions and establish change principles as key elements for change management
 (9) Get early wins to demonstrate value, sustain the change for the long term.

Quantitative measures do play a valuable part in assessing, measuring, and quantifying Change Management: There are two things to take into account: Perhaps the difficulty in measuring change management is that the very thing we are measuring is changing. How do you design metrics to measure what changes and how these changes are measured? What are the relevant metrics and how can they be quantified and validated? Oftentimes, the organization may not have the systems and structures in place prior to implementation to actually monitor and track the change. Difficulties to measure change are a reflection of (1) lack of planning and (2) lack of clarity. if you know what your change is expected to bring then you'll know what to measure before the change is implemented. Select a few (not too many) performance indicators mattering most for Change Management to present business results.

The real key to change management is the internal process humans go through in transition. Change is external; the transition is internal. When companies learn how to tap into and pay attention to employees' transition process, they'll have a richer perspective of where they are along the successful change management curve. Change Management success is not accidental, it requires a plan and strategy as well, change is not for its own sake, a clear vision, a systematic thinking and effective communication, logical processes and exemplified change leadership are all the key success factors to overcome the challenges and manage changes smoothly. The speed of change is accelerating. Managing change is no longer a one-time initiative, and Change Management turns to be a strategical ongoing capability in today’s digital organizations.


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