In a perfect world, all your past project implementations will have gone exceedingly well, and the lessons learned from them would all be constructive and positive. Effective strategies from the past would then be reviewed and systematically applied to the present.
On a recent new technology implementation for a major, global corporation our consultants quickly realized the new system was actually one of 60 initiatives that were being launched over an 18-month period. Each individual project had its own project team and although there were interdependencies between the initiatives, the project teams were completely unaware of what the others were doing.
One of the challenges facing our change management consulting clients is the level of change fatigue across the organization. There is simply no rest from the constant barrage of changes that disrupt past habits, patterns and ways of working. It creates an unprecedented level of organization stress, especially when there are fewer resources than ever before. The change fatigue is further compounded when those Change Agents responsible for implementation confront a history of projects that are initiated, but not successfully implemented.
Change saturation is quickly becoming one of the biggest challenges in organizations across the globe. Our Change Management Consultants see it everywhere they go. “Sure, we can do that.” “Oh, that initiative will improve sales. Let’s get going on it quickly.” While there certainly isn’t a shortage of good ideas out there the bottom line is almost every organization we know has too many initiatives chasing far too few resources.
One of the critical elements for achieving implementation success on a transformational change is knowing what the climate is like for the change you are trying to introduce. Your project isn't being introduced into a hermetically-sealed environment. Instead, you are implementing your change into an environment that is being significantly shaped by perceptions of past experiences, and what is going on in the present. That’s an important AIM change management methodology principle: No change occurs in isolation. It occurs in the context of all those priorities competing for resources (stress) and all the lessons previously learned about implementation (history).
Fast. Faster. Fastest! In today's crazy, busy work world, the drive to accelerate transformational change, enterprise wide changes, really any type of business change is greater than ever before. Organizations who are able to implement faster are figuratively one step ahead of their competition and ultimately more successful.
One of the common questions that comes up in our change management consulting work is why the organizational climate for transformational change matters. The reason why you need to fully understand your organization's current climate is simply because that is the environment in which you will be implementing the transformation. In common language, "It is what it is."