Saturday, August 27, 2016

Three Tipping Points of Change Management

The good moment to change is when the top senses the urgency and the bottom feels the pain.

Change is inevitable, and the speed of change is increasing. However, change is difficult, more than two-thirds of change efforts fail to achieve the expected results. What’s the tipping point of Change Management in your organizations? How to ride above the learning curve and manage changes effectively?

Change starts with a "sense of urgency" which can only come from top management: Change Management is all about balancing the following main elements impacting change such as people, strategy, process and IT. When strategy management gets stuck to go nowhere, people do not feel engaged, processes are overly rigid, technology is outdated, it is the time for changes. The good moment to change is when the top senses the urgency and the bottom feels the pain, and change inertia is minimized via common understanding about the necessity and imperatives of changes.  A good idea or culture cannot be developed by persons at the bottom or middle if it is not supported by the Top Management. The commitment of top management is very important for any change to be successful. However, you can control people's behaviors, but you can't manipulate how they think. The degree of explicit control that management exerts, or can exert on the individuals is limited. To get cooperation and not cause problems, you need to find a way to show people that the changes being made are really in their best interests and will make their works easier.

Static mind, inertial attitude or poor behaviors are the signs for changes: When strategy management gets stagnant due to culture inertia, it is the right timing to change. Trace down the poor behaviors or lower-than-expected performance understand the causes behind it. The right culture is a prerequisite foundation for implementing the strategy. Culture precedes strategy. Weak cultures rely on a bureaucracy to enforce rules and regulations that undermine an organization's speed, simplicity, and competitiveness. Change is not for its own sake, focus on the business purpose behind it. Often culture is the very reason for the change, it is also an important factor to lead change successfully. What underpins the change process and methodology is the genuine valuing of people. When people feel valued they contribute significantly. When senior management allows ineffective project/program management practices to become the norm, people at all levels often become complacent and ineffective. After all, most people have come to believe it's easier and safer to adapt to a culture rather than promote or initiate change. Hence, set digital principles and good policies to encourage changes and reward change agents, and develop the best and next practices for people-centric Change Management.

The measure is a good starting point to change: Change becomes necessary when an organization fails to meet its performance goals, probably as a result of behavior following a path of self-interest. Change Management is necessary and challenging when you diagnose the following symptoms and perhaps measures are a good starting point to change because people's behavior usually responds to how they are measured. When people start playing with the system, not working on the system; when the low hanging fruits get picked up without long-term perspectives, quantity over quality, always doing things, in the same way, lack of creativity, compete negatively with silo thinking, it is the time for CHANGE. When productivity suffers and creativity gets ignored or even scoffed, does this mean that you are applying the wrong measures at a personal and group level? The problem is actually more complex. Often the systems are rigid and slow to adapt. Workflows and business processes are based on old measures and well aligned with them, are even more resistant to change.

There are too many different types of change management initiatives, so there is no one size fits all approach to managing changes successfully. But a good starting point for change will make the journey meaningful and fulfilling. Is your organization reaching the tipping point for changes?


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