How can you prepare your employees for organizational change? Is there a change management training option that delivers the skills and knowledge employees need to succeed in the face of overwhelming change? Over the past two weeks, we talked about the first two challenges employees face while going through a personal transition during an organizational change:
Alan Watts, the British born philosopher, writer and speaker once said, “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance”. Easier said than done, right? In a perfect world, everyone would love change. We could just send out an email announcing a change, and people would jump in with both feet, no questions asked—there would be no resistance and no complaining.
Transformational change is by definition, highly disruptive. It involves significant changes to processes, structure, and technology-- and ultimately produces changes in how people do their jobs on a daily basis. Change Agents who are assigned to implement transformational change are usually charged with building readiness. Often, though, there is no comprehensive change strategy-- it's a shotgun approach mostly focused on training end users.
You've recently been assigned as a Change Agent on an important transformational change project. This change has some significant implications for how people do their work. There will be new technology, some re-structuring, lots of new business processes. It's the whole ball of wax. While it's early, you know you need to build readiness for the transformation. Where do you start?
Our change management consultants are often brought in on "mission-critical" strategic initiatives that are high risk, and must be implemented to full value realization. One of the missing pieces we see is that there is no explicit "change architecture" for getting the project implemented. This change architecture includes the identification and development of change Super Users. These Super Users are key to building change readiness in all the areas impacted by the change.
One of the challenges in change management training is balancing the needs of the organization with the needs of associates. On the one hand, the organization needs to move as quickly as possible to implement the elements of its competitive strategy, whether that includes new technology, new business processes, a changed culture, and/or a new structure.
Change management training is an important component to your change readiness strategy. There are many change management methodologies out there, and many change management training options available.
If you are trying to increase your organization's change capability, you need to have a strategy around your change management training. Rather than taking a "one size fits all" approach, our change management consultants recommend that you look at the change management training as part of a larger strategy for building readiness for change.
If you are applying the AIM (Accelerating Implementation Methodology) change management methodology to your transformation or other changes, you can measure what level of readiness you actually have. While resistance to change is natural and inevitable, a thorough analysis of the specific reasons why and how individuals will resist the change project is critical to increasing the probability of implementation success.