Have you recently undergone a major, organizational change? Maybe it was a new technology, a new innovation or a continuous improvement initiative, or perhaps it was a shared services implementation. No matter the type of change, chances are a lot of time and money were put into the project. But, after the “go-live” date has passed, I challenge you to look around your organization. Are employees actually using the new processes? Or are they busy creating work arounds? I’m guessing more of the latter, yes?
It’s easy to understand why so many organizations are turning to Agile. Being able to quickly adapt to new technology, innovation and continuous improvement is what keeps organizations one step ahead of their competition. But, “going Agile” isn’t as easy as it sounds. This change in mindset not only requires people to think in a whole new way, it requires the entire organization to do different things, in different ways.
Tell me if this sounds familiar. Your organization is getting ready for a major change. The “go-live” date is drawing near, and someone says, “Oh wait! We need to do change management!” Someone else says, “Don’t worry, we’ve got that covered. A mass email is going out next week, the website will go live right after that and there will be several social media posts as well.” Excellent. They definitely have that covered. I’m sure this change will be very successful (insert eye roll here).
The digital transformation race is on! Everywhere I look organizations are working at double speed to find the most innovative ways to use technology to transform their organization. Digital transformation is not only changing the way business gets done, in some cases, it’s transforming entire industries! In short, digital transformation is a real game changer.
Change is hard. Enterprise-wide, transformational change is geometrically more complex. While big changes such as Agile, Mergers & Acquisitions and Shared Services may make strategic sense for an organization, there is no doubt they can be time consuming and incredibly challenging.
I think we can probably all agree the rate of change has increased exponentially over the past few years. Every organization I know (whether it be in business or in healthcare) is working at the speed of light striving to get a competitive advantage, improve their market share, make their operations efficient all while increasing their shareholders’ returns. In order to make all these things happen simultaneously, Senior leaders are attempting multiple complex, large-scale changes at a somewhat alarming rate. No wonder the level of stress across organizations is so high!
Whether it is digital transformation, continuous improvement initiatives such as Lean Six Sigma, culture change or a shared services implementation, the success of any change project depends on the demonstrated Expressed, Modeled and Reinforced commitment of all the managers and leaders who have direct reports that are impacted in some way by the change. This cascade of behavioral Sponsor commitment is the single most important factor in a fast and successful implementation.
There is an ongoing debate in the world of Change Management on the merits of being “certified.” Some will argue there is no certification in the world that can adequately prepare you for the daily ins and outs of the job. The other side of the argument will point out you cannot possibly understand change management without a foundation in its principles.
Like so many of you who read our blog on a weekly basis, IMA is facing a major change. As you may already know our Vice President of Client Solutions, Paula Alsher, retired at the end of 2018. A bittersweet time for us as we are thrilled to hear Paula is already enjoying a peaceful and relaxing retirement, but a challenging transition for our small company as she did so much for us on a day-to-day basis.
With strategic plans in place for 2019, the focus turns to implementation. For many, transformational change will be high on the list. As you look to evaluate resources, you may find yourself needing additional bandwidth. So, you turn to external consultants—whether these are large consultancies or individual practitioners.