Sunday, June 2, 2019

Leverage Multidimensional Thinking for Change Management

The successful businesses are the ones that have learned how to apply multidimensional thinking and multitude of change management discipline to implement change time after time and build it as a solid ongoing business capability.

Change is the new normal. Change is resulting in a flexible and dynamic organization able to adapt to new and unexpected situations and market demand and execute strategy seamlessly. How successful organizations can handle continuous digital disruptions depends on how fast and capable they can adapt to the ever-changing environment. Change Management success is not accidental, especially large transformative change requires a clear vision, strategic planning, exemplified change leadership, multidimensional thinking, effective communication, and logical processes to overcome the challenges

Critical thinking: Change is chaotic, but change management needs to be well designed and practiced in a structural way. Leveraging Critical Thinking in Change Management means taking multiple perspectives into account, figuring out the “Big Why” and dig through the root cause, minimizing “agendas” or “spin,” understanding the emotional components, working through the logic, reconciling differences and inconsistencies in data or sources, using a set of criteria for evaluating information, conclusions and considering unintended consequences. The radical change needs to de-program old mindsets, let go of the outdated traditions or the voices from the past, make the observation and deepen understanding by asking the right questions and keep opening for varying perspectives. Critical Thinking is commonly understood to involve the willingness to integrate new or revised perspectives into better ways of thinking and acting, and willingness to foster criticality in others. Critical thinking as the core skill in Change Management is concerned ultimately with the status of claims such as evidence, recommendations, predictions, principles, analysis, especially when inferences are drawn from them. The ultimate goal for change is to solve business problems large or small. Thus, it’s important to think critically, take the logical scenario of goal-setting, decision making, mind crafting, process tuning, performance indicator selections & measurement, and take what is known and which needs to be understood to come up with the right solutions.

Creative Thinking: We live in the information-abundant and idea-rich knowledge economy, although not every change is innovation, there is no reason why creativity cannot or does not form part of the Change Management practices. Many change failure or problem-solving ineffectiveness are caused by “We always do things like that,” mentality, even circumstances already change the long time ago. In many circumstances, it takes interdisciplinary knowledge and cross-functional communication and collaboration to manage large scale changes. In fact, applying creative thinking to Change Management would make changes often more effective, fun and desirable. It starts from asking open questions such as “What If,” “Why Not,” connecting dots which are usually seemly unrelated because they are scattered in transdisciplinary domains. After clarifying “why or why not; what or what if” part of the scenario, often the field dwindles when the discussion comes to “how. Applying creative thinking to Change Management motivates people riding above the learning curve, stimulates their intellectual curiosity and becomes the true change agent and creative problem-solver. Because people can learn a lot from different mindsets, cultures, and positions, organizations as a whole can be competitive enough to keep surging further. That’s actually the very purpose of change - to nurture a highly inclusive working environment to keep creative energy flow and achieve long-term business success.

Systems Thinking: The business change shouldn’t be just a few random efforts put on the surface, it must be defined in its base elements such as process, structure, culture, and associated benefits to be achieved through productivity, financial and innovation lenses. Systems Thinking engenders new perspectives or actions as part of the process of creating a cross-disciplined understanding of the business and managing changes systematically. Digital organizations are like the switches connected into the hyperconnected business ecosystem; they are also like living systems interwoven by many interdependent substems. Thus, business leaders should become aware of other systems that they interact with and apply Systems Thinking to understand the interconnectivity between parts and the whole by asking further questions such as: “What is the bigger picture here?" "How is your current problem or goal related to your team, departmental, organizational, or industry context?" Many of today’s problems are not isolated, it’s helpful for business managers to leverage Systems Thinking for identifying multiple, perhaps interconnected problems, so later, the business can figure out the holistic solution to fix them without too much side effect. Organizations need to take systematic steps in evolutionary Digital Change Management. It means to make a radical shift from a silo and linear classic management practices to holistic and nonlinear management discipline by leveraging systematic methodologies, employing and applying the criteria deemed appropriate by the thinkers involved, to arrive at the tangible and reproducible business results.

Change is the 'Now.' Transformation is a journey and needs a larger strategic investment. It requires step-function changes in collective mindset, tools, cultures, leadership, processes, and embed creativity mechanism in change management scenario. There is no panacea, no magic bullet with regards to change management, The successful businesses are the ones that have learned how to apply multidimensional thinking and multitude of change management discipline to implement change time after time and build it as a solid ongoing business capability.


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