Saturday, August 17, 2019

Fine-Tune Organizational Changeability to Get Digital Ready

Change cannot be just another thing that needs to be accomplished, it’s the common practice, multidimensional management discipline, and ongoing business competency.

Compared to the business world decades ago, the speed of change is increasing, and digital ecosystem has become so complex and dynamic, to put simply, change itself changes. Change Management also turns out to be a holistic and multifaceted business discipline. Organizations across vertical sectors realize that one of their greatest strengths will be their change capability. Successful businesses are the ones that have learned how to strike the delicate balance and implement change time after time and build it as a solid ongoing business competency.

Trivial many, substantial few - set right priorities: Nowadays, there are so many things going on in the business, companies are overwhelmed by exponential growth of information and frequent disruptions. There are all sorts of changes going on - positive changes, negative changes, incremental changes, transformative change; reactive changes, proactive changes; technical changes, structural change, or people change, etc. However, change is never for its own sake, it’s all about accelerating business performance and improving the organizational maturity. Change Management needs to take a holistic approach, set the right priority and focus on building change as a unique business competency to improve business performance and anchor change as a new opportunity. Trivial many, substantial few. Business change management is about managing everything that is necessary to get people to adopt new ways of working such as stakeholder management, process or organizational change, digital readiness, etc. It is important to prioritize things, enforce two-way creative communication and have the perseverance to truly make the change happen and also sustain its effect. Change is the 'Now.' Transformation is a journey and requires larger strategic investment. Business leaders should look beyond immediate problem resolution, envision, express, and reinforce their personal and visible commitment to change initiatives, not just sponsor a few random change initiatives, but manage a balanced portfolio for making continuous improvement and driving transformative change in a structural way.

Naysayers vs. Yay sayers - identify change bottlenecks: Statistically, more than two thirds of Change Management efforts fail to achieve expected business results. The roadblocks to change include, but not limited to lack of direction, internal politics, culture inertia, misaligned systems/processes, overly rigid hierarchy or centralization, functional silos, complacency, status quo, or wrong groupthink, etc. It is important to try to find ways to make people feel involved in the design and implementation of the change. The more transparent about a change effort, the less uncertainty, and consequently less fear, the change management will become more effective. Naysayers vs. Yay sayers, change leaders should listen to opinions from both sides for gaining true understanding. Yay sayers have potential to become change agents and convey the positive messages enthusiastically; Naysayers or skeptics have an invaluable point of view about the change, their feedback can be very important in shaping the change effort to increase its success. How you create an authentic context that allows for agreement and disagreement to work equally towards the desired result is the art and science of Change Management. During the whole change process, make sure that all staff is aware of the plan/process, timely updated, break down process bottleneck, and take responsibility for building change competency.

Fully understand change curves and have a sense of urgency - take a steadfast speed: In today's VUCA new normal, most of the changes are complex processes, there is a deep learning curve behind them. It’s important to have change curve awareness, make an objective assessment of how much change capability (people, process, knowledge, and technology) is required for the effort you are kicking off. How do you make changes to anything without knowing all the parts and how they are related? When it comes to tools to ensure optimal change, a focus that goes beyond the change implementation itself and makes managers ready to handle change before change is even on the agenda. The right moment to change is when the top senses the urgency and the bottom feels the pain, change curve is fully understood, and change inertia is minimized via common understanding about the necessity and imperatives of changes, the majority of people are on the journey that the real results start to emerge. Keep in mind, there is no “one size fits all” change formula. "Planned Change Management" shouldn’t be too rigid or overly prescribed, otherwise, it could create a bottleneck for streamlining change scenario. A highly changeable organization is the company that can quickly and safely assess all of the consequences of a possible change and devise effective plans to provide a combination approach for having both a sense of urgency and overcoming change curves, to achieve and sustain changes - and to do them continuously at a steadfast speed.

Change becomes the new normal. However, either for managing incremental improvement or leading radical transformation, take a balanced approach to keep the business running forward with certainty even if you have to “rock the boat” accordingly. Change cannot be just another thing that needs to be accomplished, it’s the common practice, multidimensional management discipline, and ongoing business competency.


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