Thursday, July 15, 2021

Change By Questioning

systematic Change Management takes visionary leadership, logic processes and stepwise scenarios.

Change is the new normal, and change itself has been changed, adaptation becomes one of the most crucial characteristics for businesses’ survival in the “VUCA” new normal. Top management needs to lead proactively and become really creative on how they architect and implement changes by asking some fundamental questions to clarify and follow the right logic and methodology, to ensure their organization is strategically positioned to be ahead of the learning curve and improve the overall success rate of change management.

Why should we change: Many organizations focus so heavily on the "doing," suffer from their daily busyness, even experience change fatigue, without making any progress. Statistically, more than two third of change management fails to achieve expected business results. Change should never happen for its own sake, without figuring out the WHY part of change, they lose sight of the "purpose," Change Management requires a plan and strategy. People only like the comfort zone if they have been given no reason to consider better ways to do things or going someplace better, or don't even know there is a "new and improved" zone they could go to. In the organizational setting, the management has lots of things going on in their agenda without prioritizing scientifically, they couldn’t narrow down the most crucial issues that need to be fixed, assign proper resources and talent to make real change happen.

Hence, the big WHY change conversation is important to clarify the gains and pains accordingly, and shift from process-driven change management for fixing mechanical issues to people-centric change management for curing problems from mindset to behaviors. Once people agree with the “WHY” part of the reasoning, they can develop their own level or means of participating, recharge energy and embed creativity in the change scenario. From top-down and bottom up, people working at the different levels of hierarchy should ask big “WHY” questions for digging through the very reason to change and understand the change from a different lens. In fact, Change Management can become more successful with people at the core of change, the cause of changes and the purpose of change.

Where should we change to improve: Every organization needs to drive continual improvement in order to meet their objectives and stay competitive. The true business goals of change management are always related to business growth, customer satisfaction or cost optimization. In fact, Change Management should always go hand in hand with Strategy Management. Organizations have limited budgets, resources and skill sets, after clarifying why to change which implies what to change somehow, they need to figure out where to change for generating ripple effects or creating the leverage to accelerate strategy management. In highly adaptive organizations, the change management system needs to be the alerts you put in place that act as a tuning force to enable you to identify hot spots to change, and harmonize what's going on.

There are incremental changes and transformative changes; there are changes focused on processes or people. Organizations should reap some quick wins to motivate staff for achieving more; they should also preplan and orchestrate the large-scale transformation which often needs to change the underlying structure, rooted belief, or even the organizational fingerprint-culture. For example, organization design is an integral piece of business Change Management. It involves either incremental tuning to make improvement or adopting the latest platforms and disruptive technologies to make a leap. Always keep in mind the clear business goals regardless where you should change and how to change it.

How to succeed where we choose to improve: Change Management always fails when management thinks they get all the answers, and they come up with a plan in a vacuum and try to sell it. After reasoning the philosophical “why,” the systematic “where,” the technical “know-how,” makes change really happen. In order to execute a successful change management scenario, there is a need to delegate roles and responsibilities of the process, and have a strong-honest communication plan in place. An incremental change such as software update can be implemented and evaluated by users with measurable results. Other change efforts perhaps take long term effort, there is multi-path logic and varying methodology to make change happen as well as measure its result qualitatively and quantitatively.

Change Management is all about balancing all main elements impacting change: People ( most important one), Strategies, Procedures and IT into coherent changeability which enable businesses to adapt to the dynamic ecosystem and gain their competitive advantages. During the whole process make sure that all staff are aware of the dynamic change planning and processes, timely updated, and enforce accountability. Change Management is usually top-down with senior executives’ buy-in; but it’s important to have the team own a process by bringing them in early and getting their involvement in creating the process, and allow the community to self-govern. So Change Management becomes an iterative forming-storming-norming-performing-transforming cycle to deal with uncertain conditions and unforeseen circumstances with continuum.

The pervasive information growth and frequent disruptions means change is the norm and happens the whole time thereby delivering faster and increasing market share. A systematic Change Management takes visionary leadership, logic processes and stepwise scenarios. Organizations reach the inflection point for change when they can synchronize and conduct change with the scale of interrelations and interactions to make the leap of business transformation.


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