All businesses face change at some point in their life cycle.
This may be thrust upon them by outside factors such as competition, globalization, political changes or rapid technological progress. The pandemic, social and economic crisis’s we are all facing world-wide and the velocity of change caused by the crisis along with emerging disruptive technologies like AI and ML is causing companies to re-evaluate their strategies, business operations, their risk profiles, redefine their customers and find new ways to retain and attract new talent are all influencing change at a pace we have not seen before.
Or, the business may seek change proactively through a merger, improving business procedures or reforming the product offering. Whatever the reason, managing change is a multi-disciplinary process. There’s no way to pull it all together without some clear leadership, tools and structured techniques in place to successfully drive the change implementation forward.
Change Management techniques have evolved over the years. Most consultancy firms assisting their clients in leading or advising on change management initiatives have all adopted a structured approach, a checklist of sorts to assist organization’s needs and desires to implement effective change within their organizations. While there are various structured approaches many seem to follow Kotter’s Eight-Phase Model or similar benchmarks.
One of the biggest challenges between a successful change effort and one that fails is people. Many people will resist unless they see the change is urgently needed and understand what it means to them. People are the biggest reasons projects fail. People do not inherently like change or adjust to it well, if allowed, will continue to fall back to old habits.
So, how do we help ensure that the people at all levels have an understanding and a vested interest in change? In addition to helping management address the Five steps to successful change and the 7Rs of Change Management at TechCXO we follow a structured approach. While no two change management initiatives are the same, we recognize the need to follow a process that will help us help you manage risk, address and plan for contingencies, keep the effort on track and help you ensure acceptance of the delivered results by all stakeholders.
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5 Change Management Questions
If your organization (or your piece of it) struggles with effectively implementing change, you might want to ask yourself the following questions in these categories:
Do you have a plan? Do you know where you are, what needs to change and where you want and need to be?
Does your management team and your Board, agree with your plan? Is there consensus on the business outcomes you are seeking? Are they onboard and can you count on them to drive the change throughout your organization?
Do you have the right talent to manage the effort, innovate and collaborate with all stakeholders to develop the solution that will drive the desired business outcomes?
Have the consequences of not implementing the change been clearly defined and communicated?
Finally, who is accountable for effective change management in your organization; managers or outside experts? Significant change, to be effective, has to become part of the culture, the DNA of the organization. Responsibility has to rest with the organization, employees need to see and feel that from top to bottom the organization is all in.
The type of the change desired and the related impact on the organization are all additional factors to be considered. In addition, the size and complexity of your organization, the organizational impact (e.g., the number of departments or people affected) and your organization’s appetite for change are additional considerations when developing an effective change management plan.
At TechCXO, our competitive difference is many of our partners representing various industries and functional disciplines have successfully navigated and led their organizations through significant change. We have sat in your seat as a Board Member, CEO, COO, CFO and CTO and have been asked to lead significant change initiatives helping to ensure future growth, improved financial performance and business longevity of the organizations we were responsible to lead.