Jo Verde, JeMM Consultants
Gill Advisor for Change & Training Solutions
It might be easier to define the term Change Management by talking about what it is not.
We are not talking changing a business process, although effective change management is a process. We are not talking about a change in technology, although effective change management can address the effects of a change in technology. We are not talking about introducing a new system, although effective change management can ensure the successful implementation. We are not talking about a change in location or a teleworking policy, although effective change management will encourage thoughtful consideration and planning. You get the picture.
Change management is the processes, tools and techniques for managing the people-side of change. So clearly, change management is how employees experience the change and about managing change to realize business results. Poor change management is the number one reason for business initiatives failure.
There are very specific steps any organization must take to successfully implement any change initiative. Typically an organization would have an internal sponsor, usually a business leader or executive in the organization. Generally, this would be the individual driving the change. Having an active sponsor should be viewed as the most important success factor. It is also important that you don’t confuse sponsorship with support. Sponsorship requires visible and active participation in the change process and a specific currency management skill set. Some of these are influencing skills, coaching skills, effective chairing skills etc. and if the sponsor doesn’t quite know what this looks like, the project leader is there to guide and articulate the expectations.
In the beginning, it is key to look at an organization’s state of readiness. This means looking at the change itself, the organization and the employees. All this data collection and more, will provide the planning aid so the strategy and plan can be formulated.The Change:
- Number of employees impacted
- Size of Change
- Type of Change
- Amount of Change
- Organization’s culture and value system
- Capacity for change
- Leadership styles
- Power distribution
- What has happened with previous change initiatives
- What is management’s predisposition to change
- Employees’ personal readiness for change
- Employee’s perception of the organization’s readiness
- Employee’s assessment of the change and how they look at the personal impact
You can’t build a roadmap to get you somewhere if you don’t truly understand your starting point and the obstacles you will have to maneuver to reach your destination.