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.
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There is no doubt about it…change is hard. But, when you start talking about enterprise-wide, transformational change, things become geometrically more complex. Moving to Shared Services or implementing Agile or introducing a new patient care model may make perfect, strategic sense for your organization. But these types of transformational changes are not only time consuming; they’re also incredibly challenging.
Several years ago it was Quality Assurance. Then it was Lean Six Sigma. Now everyone wants to be Agile. The allure of these bright, shiny business protocols is understandable. They are solid programs that promise to improve operational efficiencies. And who doesn’t want to improve business results?
The concept of Shared Services certainly isn’t a new one. It’s been a popular business structure since the 1980’s. But, even now in 2017, the number of organizations transitioning to a Shared Services model continues to rise. Why? Because the model makes simple, economic sense. If you centralize administrative functions and share them between business units, you will standardize processes, eliminate redundancies and ultimately reduce costs. Sounds easy, right?
Your corporate culture is the collective pattern of values, behaviors, and unwritten rules of your organization— in other words, it’s the collective Frame of Reference for your organization. Others can copy your products and services. Others can even imitate your marketing. But no other company can replicate your organization’s culture. Your culture is what makes you… you.
Transformational change is excruciatingly complex. These big changes can’t be done incrementally, and can’t be made totally safe. Once you make the leap, you can’t change your mind and go back to the old ways of doing things if it’s not going well! People, processes and technology will all be impacted. Simply put, your organization will be doing different things in completely different ways.
How to Budget Wisely for Enterprise-Wide Changes: The Role of Change Management in Benefit Realization
Walk into almost any large corporation and we bet you will find at least one (if not more) of these changes in their change portfolio: shared services, mergers or acquisitions, ERP/technology updates, customer-centric strategies, and other one company solutions. These enterprise-wide changes can all be significant strategic solutions to critical business problems or market opportunities. In fact, “one company” business models can markedly improve customer satisfaction, materially reduce operating margins, utilize resources more effectively, improve internal collaboration, and position the organization to respond quicker to changing market conditions. The ROI is staggering. But…so is the investment required!
Creating a cultural fit is an important element of the AIM Change Management Methodology. Your organization’s culture is arguably your greatest strategic asset. Your competition can potentially match your product or service. Competition can create a marketing strategy that’s equally powerful. But no competition will have your culture.
If you are part of a project team assigned to enterprise-wide change you will need to have Change Agents to support the implementation. Yes, members of the project team will likely be Change Agents, but you will need to build a network as well.
Transforming your business may make strategic sense, but transformational change is complex. Enterprise-wide implementation of new systems, structures, and processes is time-consuming and incredibly challenging. Mergers & Acquisitions, Re-structuring and Shared Services are all large-scale, highly disruptive changes that cannot be done incrementally. Once you take these leaps, you can’t change your mind and go back to the old ways.