The art of change is of vital importance to a company.
Although change management isn’t usually granted its own KPI, it fuels all your project outcomes whether it is cash, efficiency or operational control.
Consulting companies will use appropriation rates to bill their services, but the experience shows that appropriation is a broader topic that what is usually encompassed in the change management stream of the program.
Change is governed by five essential considerations that cannot be neglected. Racing ahead, without taking them into account, is the safest way to compromise your initial goal or to get you to waste more money in the long run.
Change has it’s roots in the company culture. The capacity to change and transform is deeply anchored into the company culture. Culture is not only what makes most companies different, it is key to the ability to handle uncertainty, transform and grow. Some of our clients make culture a pillar of their strategic plan and others undertake transformation programs to develop a change mindset in their organization.
Change is not a top down approach. Although most changes come from executive committees or management layers, all staff are impacted. Training and loud communication are not sufficient, successful companies are adopting the three following best practices:
- Always welcome and take feedback into account
- Manage people involved in the change as a community especially when the impact is broad, leveraging on the group to promote transformation is very powerful
- When possible, involving people in the decision process works miracles even when the field of decision seems to be limited e.g. regulatory topics
Change is a process that starts now. The earlier change management is included in your program governance, the higher its chances of success: Your program RACI should set this stream to be informed about all decisions.
Change requires creativity. Beyond top down training and massive communication, be inspired by the best and leverage on new technologies, social networks, video or social engineering such as gamifications. There is little limit to what can be done to get people to move out of their comfort zone.
Change is a grieving process. It takes time and energy, therefore it requires to make space to the change. Yet often managers and stakeholders have another jobs in addition of supporting the transformation. These are two different jobs, and this fact must be acknowledged as the time to do both must be accommodated.