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Five phases of change management


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Five phases of change management

  1. 1. 1 Businesses freeze their own change activities uncertain of how the newly elected (incumbent or not) president will drive the economy, foreign relations or other government investments. Secondly the voting population becomes anxious around the same issues. Debate happens around the dinner, coffee houses and favored bars. Much dialogue follows but how often are people’s opinions actually changed by all this political socialization? Experts agree that family, schools and other spheres of authority have some influence on how Americans decide to vote1. However today’s American voter is continuously rethinking his or her opinion against the past and rarely do they change their deep-rooted opinions based on opinions around them. It’s the message from the leaders (candidates) that influence them. According to Pew Research2 of those of those who voted in the 2008 election 67% were most influenced by live Presidential debates. Elections are a massive change event-affecting people with diverse perspectives, mobilizing activists and other policy/process organizations that cost tens of millions of dollars. Every enterprise will recognize common elements from the election theme. Enterprises begin change events both big and small. Too often there is much activity with little effect on the key areas that must be addressed. People, process, systems and technology (in that order) are the poles around which all Planning and execution occur. By addressing these five areas and defining key measures you will have a more impactful and lasting change management program. People “Bad decisions can be reversed, slow decisions sow doubt.” How change affects the people in an organization is the most overlooked portion of change management. Often those in the roles closest to execution are the last know what is happening with transparency, accuracy and clarity. This leads to speculation, rumors (“I don’t know what’s happening but what I hear isn’t good”) and a It’s the anticipation of the election of a new leader for the nation. Anticipation of change has two profound effects. It freezes decision making for large public and private policy decisions. Every four years, the United States faces substantial change. Lawrence Lerner Business Consulting October 2012 Identifying the fundamental motivators within an organization requires time and discipline. Through Constructive Disruption we identify the pieces and re- assemble them in new and beneficial ways. The first step of Constructive Disruption is Uncover. Discover the need and problem statement without attempting to understand. To begin to understand you must have some basic understanding of the change problem. As with all communication, a common vocabulary is required. During this phase it’s important to collect without making judgments or assessments. The subject matter collected, just is as is. It’s not even important if it’s true or not. It what the end user believes is true. At the end of the phase, organize or catalogue the information based on your experience or best estimate. You can refine later. Uncover via Constructive Disruption Phases of Successful Change Management
  2. 2. 2 2 demotivated workforce. There is also an element of WIFM (What’s in it for Me?) that must always be overcome. Change may be the New Normal but it doesn’t always mean people accept it willingly. As the change process begins people look for their place and how they maintain relevancy in the new order. Key to people change is the development of a communication strategy with specific themes that describe the change and why it is happening. Themes must be aligned with your core measurements of the program. “Automating fabrication processes in the plants enables you to be more adaptive and responsive to market changes. You are gaining responsibility because you are closest to the customer.” Enterprises want those these to be unambiguous and be reinforced in the communications plan as well as training and role definition/redefinition. It’s important to take an inventory of people, their skills and desire to enable change. We call this “Skill vs. Will.” Knowing who your natural Change Agents are will enable the program drive lasting impact more quickly. The rest can be guided to the right course of action or moved into a more appropriate role. Erik Arnold Chief Information Officer at Path, the Seattle based international nonprofit organization that transforms global health through innovation, is someone who drives change that affects lives globally. “I believe that no matter the discipline, no initiative will be successful if it’s not accepted and adopted by all involved. You have to take the time to manage change to realize benefits in any efficient way. For me, a successful change management plan focuses on impact to people, processes, and policies first. Early on it must identify and mitigate the areas of resistance to change. I find that it helps to partner the innovators and early adopters with some of the identified resistors and laggards early in the process to execute the plan together.” Process Before you begin change, can you map the current way of doing things to the specific interactions of business, your computer systems and people’s roles? Taking a process inventory and illustrating is the first step in change. From there you can measure the impact and define how the process impacts all of the individual components. Defining a process map from the very highest level down to work instructions give people a starting point. From 3 there, the change journey becomes much easier. Understanding the present state and how it touches the enterprise allows the change team to begin mapping future processes with clarity. Process maps allow change agents to define the interactions with detail. This detail translates to actions and data that is managed and defines how the whole system interacts. Well-defined and documented processes are essential for the execution and understanding. Systems Computer systems increasingly play a role in every part of business life today. Systems are no longer monolithic or limited to the four walls of the data center. They are part of the business ecosystem. New or revised systems are often the catalyst for change and change management journeys. As we evolve to increasingly connected businesses the systems that supported the enterprise must change too. Many forces are at work when a system changes. The stakeholders look to improve the dynamics of the way the system processes, gathers and interacts with other systems and people. Additionally stakeholders may take this as an opportunity to fundamentally change the way the system’s core processes affect the business. If we compare the way in which product fulfillment, the way goods are shipped and delivered, today vs. just five years ago things are very different. In my house, we check to see if something is available as “[Amazon] Prime3” as a key-deciding factor in the purchase. Technology In the past changes to technology were mostly about improving scale (faster, bigger, more responsive). Today’s underlying technology breaks the “normal” way of doing things at a dizzying speed that often has large enterprises, which need to make significant investments, putting technical change on hold for a few years. They Continued… “I believe that no matter the discipline, no initiative will be successful if it’s not accepted and adopted by all involved.” -Erik Arnold, CIO at Path
  3. 3. 3 ` 4 are then caught in the dilemma of being accused of not “future proofing” or overspending on the latest technical fad (remember how bots and avatars where going to do all of our online purchases for us?). There is even a solution for that problem with Cloud based ecosystems starting to emerge. Changes to the fundamental technology require an enterprise roadmap that merges business need with technical planning. Planning Keeping change alive and on track is more difficult than simply stating the goal. It may seem counterintuitive but change is not self-sustaining. A plan that is equal parts roadmap, process, technology and systems with well- developed communication themes is necessary. It needs to be nurtured with active support and management guidance. If that weren’t the case, incumbents would always be re-elected. Take the time to do your journey planning first and completely. While there may be detours in the road, a well thought out plan helps. • Create a set of themed communications and have all of your plans driven from there • From those themes identify five key metrics to judge success. If you cannot do that you will never know how close you are to journey’s end • Today’s employees use many modes of communication! Mirror them with websites, brown bag lunches, FAQs and internal tweet-of-the-day • Identify different stakeholder and ‘at-risk’ groups and develop tailored messages o All stakeholders must have “a seat at the table.” Ensure you know who they are Recap Leaders must provide transparency and clear direction for change to succeed. As with an election the people affected by change look for leaders to provide clarity of their place in the New Normal. Some thoughts: • Be transparent • Bad decisions can be reversed, slow decisions sow doubt • Of perfection, there is no end • Mean what you say, say what you mean 1 Wagner.Edu “Family political views” 2 “67% - Most Say Presidential Debates Influence Their Vote” 3 See Amazon’s Prime service
  4. 4. 4 For more than 20 years LLBC has brought the principles of Constructive Disruption to the world’s top brands. The results have been growth and transformation supporting the needs of change agents and companies seeking to grow. Our trademark whiteboard sessions and engaging style are the first step in the discovery process. Hands on technical expertise and thought leadership have delivered leading edge technologies including social media, mobility and payment systems. Domain and industry skills include digital strategy, ecommerce, Retail, Life Sciences, Healthcare and Media/Entertainment. Engineering Opportunity Through Change Lawrence I Lerner Direct: +1.630.248.0663 Email: Follow us on Twitter: @RevInnovator