Saturday, August 19, 2017

Timing, People, and Change Management

It is critical to capture the right timing from changes, make people at the center of change, and take the logical scenario to make change more nature, less painful.

Change is the new normal, and the speed of change is accelerating. However, the responses to change are woefully underrated by business as keys to sustainability and success. Change Management has a very wide scope and is a relatively new area of expertise. How do you assess an organization that is ready for change? How can you understand the psychology behind changes? How should you measure change readiness and evaluate change outcome? Which questions shall you ask for exploring the correlation between timing, people, and change management, and how to improve Change Management effectiveness to exceed the business’s expectation?

Are your Change Management processes functioning to deliver results consistent with the strategic intent? If not, it is the TIME to change. Change shouldn’t be just a couple of random business initiative for reacting to changes. Businesses will be more successful when they realize that one of their greatest strengths will be their change capability. Change management and strategy management should go hand-in-hand. The change should be based on planning strategy; defining exactly what/where/when changes are desired, necessary, and achievable, also ascertain who are the best change leaders within the organization to help carry out and manage the changes and those who might pose as impediments to change. There is the long term mythology for big changes and the short term mythology for small changes. Change is always easier if you have insight and knowledge, less fear of, the unknown risks. It requires a plan and strategy, and most importantly business execution. That means you have an adequate, logical, and systematic effort to manage change or the business transformation. You have to define the change situation and the desired result before plowing into any effort, from measured progress to critical survival. Pre-contemplation, contemplation, decision, preparation, action, adjustment, maintenance are the logical steps in managing change scenario. Know what is an acceptable outcome, what resources the change need to leverage and how urgently to act. Make change sustainable.

Are your people acting in a way that is consistent with the business progression? If not, it’s the TIME to change. Because change needs to be sponsored from the top, but change cannot be fully controlled and managed top-down, it has to be proactively made bottom up. Change inertia is the reality, most people have come to believe it's easier and safer to adapt to a culture rather than promote or initiate change. Thus, walking people through the process of resistance is key. Most people are quite willing to put the effort in change. What they don't want is 'to be changed by others.' That calls out for resistance. So let them be part of the direction, speed, and way you are heading. It is also important to enable and motivate teams to select best options and provide framework or tools, helping them align all the options from teams, in order to deliver change results consistent with the strategic intent of the organization. From people management perspective, changes are best when they do not like changes. Change management as a competency needs to reside in all areas of business where change happens. Change needs to be human-centered. People should know "where you are driving them to" and "what's on it for them." Change management should make sure the people are acting in a way that is consistent with the business progress. When people feel valued they contribute significantly, they are inspired to think bigger, and they are motivated to step out of their comfort zone. Dynamic and changing organizations cannot operate with stable unchanging people.  If people are used to taking action of their own and are also responsible for it, you can move mountains.

Are your processes and people integrated to ensure a consistent ability to deliver business result? If not, it is the TIME to change. Change is an ongoing business capability underpinned by the logical process and “changeable” people integrated to ensure the smooth strategy execution. Change purposes, methodologies, and practices should be updated and well understood, otherwise, people might lose patience, their interest fades away, and they disassociate themselves quickly. It’s also important to defining and tracking business benefits delivery and the associated change in mindset and behavior, and the business’s ability to set metrics for the progress along the way is essential to keep the change momentum unabated and uplifting. It is important for creating both internal and external beliefs around how the business is a movement for enablement and improvement. Change managers need to regularly update and identify individual team members’ strengths and weaknesses, this enables timely intervention where and when challenges are identified. What underpins the change process and methodology is the genuine valuing of people. Building the expectation for the next step and commitment that will follow.

Closer to reality is that 'change' is continuously happening in the environment of a company. From change management perspective, it is critical to capture the right timing from changes, make people at the center of change, and take the logical scenario to make change more nature, less painful. The desires of stakeholders, clients, and employees are evolving naturally. Business can no longer work on the basis of static exploitation internally or externally as it has been pursued in the past. Change becomes a dynamic business capability.


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