Friday, December 24, 2021


Building a change-competitive workforce won’t happen overnight, it takes planning, experimenting and scaling up

Change is inevitable, the organization can reach the “inflection point” of change when the business is able to generate new opportunities for growth; hit the moment for large-scale transformation.

 Often, change is difficult, as you have to get out of the “comfort zones,” remove roadblocks, overcome change obstacles, and make progressive change in a consistent way. Change is rarely an individual behavior, it’s a collaborative effort. Thus, a compelling team embracing a variety of personas with the complementary mindset, characters, skillset, or knowledge bases, are ready to make effective decisions, take initiatives proactively, develop the best and next practices to make leapfrog change in a structural way.

Changer sponsors: In the organizational scope, change often fails to achieve expected results because there is no “one-size-fit-all” change scenario and there are varying components you need to integrate seamlessly to build business changeability. Change starts with a “sense of urgency” which can only come from the top management – when the top feels the pain, and the bottom is sort of dysfunctional. Many change efforts fail due to change inertia, change frictions, or change fatigue. Top management perhaps experiences the moment to be “paranoid” – either disrupting or being disrupted? The strong sponsor is more important than the correct functional alignment. A great sponsor can set the right priority, overcome organizational change frictions, drive strategic changes and adoptions.

You can have an amazing presentation with the right stakeholders, but if the person delivering the message isn’t your sponsor or key influencer in the room, people won’t care. In fact, the visible and active change sponsorship is important to focus on resource assignment, people adoption, besides communication and coaching. If change sponsors happen to be senior leaders regardless of the functional leadership role even better. Change is not a few spontaneous efforts, but a structural management discipline that requires making synchronization with business strategy management, balancing the main elements impacting change such as people (the most important one), structures, processes/procedures and information technology. Strong sponsorship helps to optimize resource management, capacity development, improve change adoption rate, and amplify change effect.

Change agents: People are always the center of change. Change fails because people are not ready to get out of their comfort zone; they mistrust the management, or they lack the skills to make change happen. In reality, every organization consists of a majority of reluctant people with change inertia. What a Change Agent or champion most often does is to instill drive, passion, and creativity, refresh knowledge, harness trust, build change capabilities, cultivate culture of changes, and make continuous improvement. They have a specific skill set in the field of change, assist in resolving conflict, and they are able to pull the rest of the organization in the right direction for leading change effectively.

Trust is a key determinant of change success. Developing changeability takes effort and time. Don’t let change overwhelm you, but ride change curves by building the multilayered, highly integral changeability. Spotting change champions who demonstrate critical thinking skills, high level of adaptability, learning agility, communication and engagement skills to catalyze changes by speaking the language of colleagues and making empathetic persuasion. Also, change is risky, a change agent has the right dose of risk appetite and the good attitude to drive change because it takes courage, confidence, and intelligence to overcome the “fear of failure,” clarify good intention and pull the right strings to make changes go smoothly.

Change accelerators
: Change means uncertainty, unpredictability, People can be either the weakest link or the change accelerator; change for the most of the people is typically reactionary rather than proactive or innovative. To accelerate change, change leaders can provide direction such as vision, mission, strategy, the right dose of courage and risk taking attitude, emotional excellence, optimized processes, and proficient knowledge, as well as leadership skills such as delegation, decision-making, mentoring and monitoring. How they handle the change and digitalization depend on their ability to think, adapt, proactively plan, and make change happen with accelerated speed.

The high-performance team that embraces well-mixed skills and a range of expertise and disciplines, will become the accelerator to catalyze changes successfully. Great change leaders understand the psychology behind the change, be able to think outside the current constraints and tensions, shape a competitive team, raise the courage to pursue change with persistence; develop the initial value proposition; determine demand and estimated pipeline, in order to lead progressive change in a consistent and continuous manner.

Building a change-competitive workforce won’t happen overnight, it takes planning, experimenting and scaling up. 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, anchor change as a new opportunity to expand business horizon for reaching the next growth cycle of the business, and improving the overall organizational competency.


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