According to an HBR article “…. change remains difficult to pull off and few companies manage the process as well as they would like. …. installing new technology, downsizing, restructuring, or trying to change corporate culture have had low success rates when the change is not managed well.”
Any transformation that is successful in an organization has the following elements built into the change process that is simple but requires all these elements for implementation.
1. Prepare for the Change
- Define your change management strategy
- Prepare your change management team
- Develop your sponsorship model
2. Manage the Change
- Develop change management plans
- Take action
- Implement the plan
3. Reinforce the Change
- Collect and analyze feedback
- Diagnose gaps and manage resistance
- Implement corrective actions and celebrate success
As Caroline Schoeder quotes, “Some people change when they see the light, others when they feel the heat.”
While implementing change, it is important to understand how a person walks through the journey of change from a lack of awareness about the change or its imperatives, to an intuitive mastery on the change along with the benefits of going through different phases of learning, practice and synthesis. Change management efforts are ideally to help an individual go through the different quadrants of learning and practice seamlessly for embracing the change more effectively.
Stumbling blocks to change and how to overcome them
There are five key stumbling blocks to change in an organizational context that can make any change difficult and impossible if they are not appropriately managed. Following outlines the stumbling blocks:
- Lack of an aligned and prioritized mission and objectives to the key change project resulting in COFUSION.
- Lack of an appropriate skills development program through training and other initiatives that can make the change work and result in ANXIETY.
- Incentives aligned with the overall goals of the change, resulting in RESISTANCE from the target groups.
- Absence of key resources identified and effectively allocated for the change to be implemented, ending in FRUSTRATION.
- And lack of smart action plans for operationalizing and executing key aspects of the change that have been planned, leading to a FALSE START and FAILURE.
- It is important that the change plan effectively clarifies and works on all the 5 points above and make the change a SUCCESS.
Organizations that implement change successfully ensure that they are working on the following very closely with the key stake holders for the change to be quickly embraced and launched successfully.
- Identify key stake holders and impacts; evaluate the change implications for them.
- Target communication plans to ensure those change implications are addressed appropriately with the groups.
- Build change plans and actions along with the key stake holders to get the appropriate buy in and commitment to partner the change.
- Make the change clearly outline “what is there in it” for the different key stake holders so that they feel involved and benefitted.
Build Metrics, Rewards and Recognition around the change that motivates individuals to partner effectively on the change process.