The Future is Breakthrough Change.  Can Your Organization Compete?

Posted by Paula Alsher on Thu, Aug 04, 2016 @ 03:11 PM

You don’t have to look far to see an example of breakthrough, disruptive change.  Uber. Airbnb. Dollar Shave Club.  These are highly disruptive, innovative concepts that have radically transformed their respective marketplaces.  These are great ideas that were scalable and able to be implemented at speed. Breakthrough Change

The Need For Speed

We talk about speed a lot, and there has never been more need for implementation at speed. Leaders must have a laser-focus on the ability of the organization to implement {Tweet This}.  In fact, “Implementation” must become a core capability. When we get trapped in the old vocabulary of change management, we miss an enormous opportunity to play a major role in helping our organizations achieve radically different business outcomes. Instead of talking about the need for “change management”, let’s start talking about implementation.  Here are a few examples:

  1. Too many leaders believe change management is all about communication (and training). Not only is that incorrect, but more importantly, if it is all about communication and training, the responsibilities can be outsourced to communication and training professionals.  Implementation at speed requires leaders to be active and visible for the duration of the implementation.

  2. Change management is viewed as getting people to like the change. Implementation is neutral on whether a change is positive or negative.

  3. Change management is viewed as separate from the technical project management. Implementation is integrated into and fundamental to managing the project milestones and measurements.

  4. Too many leaders still don’t want to “pay extra” for what we call change management. It’s easier to sell the idea that there are costs to getting strategic changes implemented. 

  5. Change management is seen as tools and templates. That really misses the mark on what is needed to get these large-scale, complex changes implemented.

Implementation is a process 

It’s much more obvious to leaders that strategic initiatives and downstream projects have to get implemented. At IMA, we have been using the language of “implementation management” for several years.  We have talked extensively about the difference between installing projects, and implementing them to get to full value realization.  We do this because we believe that using the language of implementation implies business outcomes and business process. 

So what does it take to build implementation capability into your organization?

  1. Leaders who recognize that having a good idea or strategy is only a small part of their accountability. They must be accountable for full implementation as well.  In fact, the actions of the leaders are the most important factor in getting changes implemented—much more important than the project team or local “change agents.”

  2. There must be skilled resources, in sufficient numbers, in the right places. Building implementation capability won’t magically happen without the requisite training and reinforcement.

  3. Leaders must be reinforced for implementation capability on specific initiatives and projects. We must measure whether we achieved behavioral changes in all the impacted areas. 

  4. Leaders must adopt an implementation process (yes, like AIM) that can be married with other critical business protocols.

We believe, language matters.  We believe, the name of the game, now more than ever, is getting critical changes implemented much faster.  It’s nothing new for us—after all, the name of the framework is Accelerating Implementation!  Let’s seize the opportunity we have to make a difference.  Breakthrough change requires it.

Free Whitepaper: Leading People Through Business Changes

Topics: Transformational Change, Innovation