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).
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!
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.
“Let’s start at the very beginning. A very good place to start.” While the well-known song lyric is about teaching a group of children to sing, the sage advice also applies to implementing strategic business or clinical initiatives.
Don Harrison, the developer of the AIM Change Management Methodology, has spent his 40+ year career working with global organizations on how to implement complex change. He specializes in delivering tough messages to senior executives on their role as Sponsors. Not an easy task!
The rate of change in today’s business world is certainly at an all-time high. Everyone we know is racing around at a crazy, fast pace trying to implement multiple initiatives all of which are chasing the same limited resources. This nonstop, whirlwind of activity often makes an organization seem like it’s functioning like a well-oiled machine. (After all if everyone is busy, change management must be happening, right?) But, have you ever stopped to ask yourself what exactly everyone is doing? Are they just spinning their wheels with activity or are they making an actual impact with their actions?
There are a lot of choices when it comes to change management models. On the surface, many of them look pretty similar. For example, most change management methodologies are founded on behavioral science research concepts in areas like human motivation. They include tools and templates for project teams to use in implementation. Some of these frameworks are home-grown, combining a “mish mosh” of several well-known frameworks; a little AIM here, some ADKAR model there and a dash of Kotter over here.
Prospective clients interested in AIM inevitably ask, “What’s included in your Toolkit?” This question always causes us to hesitate, because yes, there is a toolkit; however, unlike some of our competitors, we understand change management, when done right, is really about targeting your organization’s limited resources for the most impact in the shortest amount of time to get to value realization at speed.
The business value in using a disciplined project management protocol, such as Agile or Waterfall, is undeniable. Project management ensures projects are completed on time, on budget and to scope. And with the amount of investments being made on large, complex organizational change at an all-time high, these metrics are critical. But, what about using a change management process? Is there a value there as well?