Sunday, October 1, 2017

Riding Learning Curves to Accelerate Changes

A changeable organization is to creating organizations where change is the norm and happens the whole time thereby delivering faster and increasing market share.

Change becomes the new normal, and even the speed of change is accelerating. Too often changes are made as a reaction to outer impulses, crisis. How do you make changes to anything without knowing all the parts and how they are related? The goal of Change Management is to manage changes in a systematic way, either for making continuous improvement or innovation. Most of the changes are complex processes, how to ride learning curves to accelerate changes?

Having learning curve awareness means that change leaders need to master the psychological process behind changes: The change curve is a model of the states that people who are to change will go through, it is applicable to everyone even those who planned and conceived the vision. Thus, having learning curve awareness is ready to be the step one goes through during change when in actuality they are the steps that come before change can take place. It is no surprise that there is change inertia, a lot of people resist as it takes them outside their comfort zone which generally gives a negative feeling. People resist change because they don’t get it, or they don’t see “What’s in it for me,” or they don’t want to get manipulated. Therefore, to achieve desired changes, it is important to understand the psychology behind the change, create an environment that encourages change mentality, attitude, enable cross-functional communication and effective collaboration, brainstorm and promote ideas, also provide necessary incentives for recognizing changes agents and change champions. Keep in mind, change management should be the stepwise and iterative processes, it takes a lot of effort and resources to make change happen. Having learning curve awareness also means to understand how change capabilities are underpinned by change processes, people, and technology, and how much change capabilities are really required for the change effort you are kicking off. The answer would be to promote the positives to try to capture those on the periphery. Be flexible, change will always involve failures as well as success. Change is a gradual process.

Riding learning curves means how to prioritize for change and overcome roadblocks: Change curves exist because these days it is pretty tough to get attention as there is so much going on,. Organizations today have a very busy business agenda with both short term and long term goals need to be taken care of, and emergent issues need to be taken care of. Change Management shouldn’t be just another isolated business initiative piled up with so many other things the management team should deal with, it needs to be embedded into strategy management, performance management and varying modern management discipline. Also, the change shouldn’t be just a one-time initiative or spontaneous effort, it needs to be an ongoing business capability. Riding learning curve means that there is a high level of trust within the upper rankings of the management team, both change leadership and change management should go hand-in-hand to overcome the roadblocks to change, such as lack of direction, internal politics, culture inertia, misalignment of system/process, overly rigid organizational hierarchy or centralization, functional silo or groupthink, comfort zone or status quo (pass success will come to future success), lack of creativity. When change management is too mechanical without creativity embedded in it, the staff becomes like nails and the change managers like the hammer forcing staff into submission of change, the change might turn to be for its own sake, lose its business ultimate goals.

Riding learning curve also means how to sustain change for the long run: The goal of change and improvement should look beyond immediate problem resolution, it needs to become an integral part of strategic management to achieve the business’s long-term vision. Thus, the focus of Change Management should include actions designed to sustain performance improvement and anchor change as a new opportunity. The more complex the change, the more complex the solution. Thus, riding the learning curve to sustain change is another important perspective for making the change as a new normal and business competency. It is important for change management to make deep observations, look and listen for what’s working and what’s not working or missing. It is not about finding fault nor finger pointing, blaming or complaining about what wrong. It is about how to ride the learning curve to get into action in creative, positive, and productive ways that educate, support and celebrate every critical step of the change curve and the business transformation journey and sustain change effect for improving the overall business responsiveness and maturity.

A changeable organization is to creating organizations where change is the norm and happens the whole time thereby delivering faster and increasing market share. Change Management is a journey, not just a one-time project, riding ahead of the change curve takes the strategy and methodology, principles and practices. Digital businesses become more dynamic and hyperconnected, riding those change curves is particularly important for building change as the business competency, sustaining change effect, and increasing business speed


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