Saturday, May 26, 2018

CIOs as the “Change Agent”: Three “Never” Practices to Manage Change Seamlessly

It is nevertheless true that the change itself has become unpredictable and evolutionary, as compared to treading through carefully. 

Change is a volatile subject, just like change itself. Compared to the business world decades ago, information is growing exponentially, the digital ecosystem has also become more complex and dynamic. Everything changes continuously by following the laws of evolution, and the rate of change is accelerated. to put simply, change itself changes. Therefore, senior leaders like CIOs need to gain an in-depth understanding of changes, especially at the strategic level, also help to make change principles and develop a set of best & next practices to lead changes seamlessly.

NEVER ASSUME you know what the problem is: Most large-scale plans fail because the planners do not envision the problems. Many organizations spend significant time on fixing symptoms which results from the actual cause of the problem, rather than digging into root causes so the real problems will continue coming back. Change is happening all the time, the management just has to acknowledge and appreciate that. What matters most is going to identify the root cause of the problem either by asking big why or reframing the question for gaining in-depth understanding. “Do I really understand the problem?” - it’s the question every change leader should ask himself/herself. There is no need to look at it in a reactive mode as a “problem” but it would be desirable to look at it proactively and have a “policy,” to catalyze changes. Otherwise, fixing the wrong problems will waste time & resources, increase anxiety, and allow problems to grow under the surface, out of sight, out of mind until it’s too late. Change is never for its own sake, solving problems large or small is the very reason to change. It is important to build a culture of learning, change, and “problem-solving.” Constantly learn, educate, share, and the challenge for leaders is to motivate others to be real problem solvers by first understanding what is the real problem and then solve it smoothly.

Never UNDERESTIMATE sponsorship from the top and the buy-in from shareholders: Change is supposed to happen. Change is not always delightful. Resistance is supposed to happen. Change cannot be fully managed or controlled top down, it has to be proactively made bottom up. However, many senior leaders don't understand what their role is, don't want to discuss publicly due to the criticism they will get. Or leaders do support the change but radically under-estimate the importance of their active and visible support for the change. The executive feels compelled to stop asking legitimate questions about the approach and the process ends up with groupthink. Stakeholder involvement and engagement nearly always make these difficult paths easier to tread. It is important that attention is paid to the intrapersonal and interpersonal aspects of dealing with change. Stakeholder involvement has positive implications at each stage of the change journey. The dividends for early involvement and continues engagement during the change journey payback hugely during the organizational impact stage. The more stakeholders can impact a change capable of seriously affecting their lives, the better chance the change will achieve or exceed the target.

NEVER THINK there is a short list of solutions you can pick from: A solution should match a problem and with that in mind, the one thing change would be to have a phrase at the heart of everything the organization does. What needs to worry about is the danger of a company adopting a couple of simple rules to fix some poor behaviors without doing the difficult work to change the mentality. Real change and creativity are deprogramming old mindsets, letting go of "the voices from the past," reprogramming their minds with new norms and attitudes; establishing a new blueprint for how we want to create our future reality. Digital is about options. A change manager needs to assess and evaluate every specific scenario to create the change program success. Co-create alternative visions and dream into the existence of new solutions, these are the capacities of humans who are not trapped in 'the same level of thinking.' Ultimately, the success of the change program is measured by results that are important values to the organization, and the cultural adoption of these goals is part of that measure.

It is nevertheless true that the change itself has become unpredictable and evolutionary, as compared to treading through carefully. Change is not just a few random business initiatives, it needs to institutionalize these changes into the company’s cultural DNA. The change principle is still: Fix the right problems and fix them right.


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