Sunday, September 25, 2016

CIOs as Change Agent: Three Focal Point in Change Management

Change Management has a very wide scope and is a relatively new area of expertise.

Business Change Management is managing everything that is necessary to get people to adopt new ways of working such as stakeholder management, communications, process or organizational change, business readiness or technical change management, etc. More than two-thirds of Change Management effort fails to achieve the expectation. How to get ahead of change curves, what are the focal point to frame the right problems to solve, make change tangible rather than fluffy?

Discover the root cause of issues, or the big WHY about changes: Compared to the business world a couple of decades ago, the speed of change is increasing, and digital ecosystem has become more complex and dynamic. To put simply, change itself changes. Therefore, don't just rush up to follow the best practice for Change Management in your industry, but invest enough time to discover the root cause of issues. Digging through the big WHY is extremely important either for change or any kind of business initiatives, and leveraging Systems Thinking to discover the root cause is about seeing the interconnectivity between the parts and the whole. All changes require a cooling period. Businesses can not take change initiatives for granted. Change is the voyage which needs to continually discover its own landscape, avoids the potential pitfalls and enjoys the unique scenes.

Setting the priority right: Change Management often won’t go alone, it should go hand in hand with Strategy Management, Program Management, or Performance Management. Priority should be clear, approved and shared, the staff should know the big pictures, and know what their role is in it. Ensure people committed and incentivized to the plan/priorities or agree on an exit. More specific steps in managing change and setting right priorities include: (a) Keep it simple, not simpler. (b) Accomplish change by identifying the pain points through unique well-developed processes. © Outline the implementation process with assignments, timelines, and deliverable. (d) Remove cultural, organizational or systemic obstacles.

Measurements are in place: First, ensure to measure the right things and measure them in the right way. The challenge with measuring change has something to do with the complexities of the organization that is imposing change on their employees. How can you design the good metrics to measure what changes are and how those changes are measured. What are the relevant metrics and how can they be quantified and validated. Ineffective measurement can cause more problems and encourage silo thinkings. For example, When only the individual or departmental outcomes are measured, the silo walls go up. Differentiated performance metrics and rewards systems tend to influence people’s behaviors, hence, they need to be adjusted to fit the ultimate business goals. Measuring change involves first accurately identifying where you are now, and then clearly identifying where you want to be once the change is complete. Keep change elegant and measurable.

Change Management has a very wide scope and is a relatively new area of expertise, it needs to focus on coordination and facilitation, follow the right set of principles and take the best or next practices. The speed of change is increasing, therefore, the change capability needs to be cultivated, not for its own sake, but for improving organizational effectiveness and agility.


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