Managing organizational change is a lot like planning out a city. Say you're installing a new foot bridge, would you call that installation a success if the construction came in on time and under budget, but it provided no value to your citizens? Probably not.
The same goes for developing a change management plan. The best organizational change management strategy isn't the one that just gets the job done cheap and quick, it's one that provides the most value to all of the necessary parties (i.e. each stakeholder, project manager, and all employees).
Consider the foot bridge again. Good change management would be responsible for incorporating how you are going to get people to understand why the bridge is important and why it’s useful for them. Further, successful change management would be there to ensure those people started using that bridge on Day 1 and beyond.
Successful change management begins with the implementation of an effective change management plan. Now, what is a change management plan? Glad you asked!
At ChangeAnalytics, we're obsessed with enhancing the change process for businesses. We believe successful and effective change management makes a huge impact on your business.
This is why we believe: good change management is good business.
Whether they admit it or not, leaders know all too well that just because a project crossed the finish line doesn’t mean that it was a screaming success. An effective change management process isn't just measured in a spreadsheet, it happens in the hearts, minds, and behaviors of impacted groups like employees.
When measuring if your change plan was successful, have your change management team ask themselves these questions:
- Was the point just to install new software on everyone’s computer, or was the intent that the software was used effectively? And by when?
- Was the point to roll out a new organizational structure, or was the intent that people knew how to operate in that structure (and felt comfortable doing so)?
- Was the point to share a new way of doing things, or was it that staff adopt a new way of doing things?
You catch our drift.
Success for any organizational change management process that affects the way your team works isn't measured by the launch or go-live date. It’s about whether the desired actions of a group of people were sustained after that date.
Creating Good Habits
For your change initiative to succeed, the actions you're trying to instill need to become habitual.
That’s the essence of change management. It’s a manner of equipping an impacted group of people with everything they need (emotionally, intellectually, physically) to succeed in the future state; the idea being: the smoother and more efficient the transition, the better chance you have at reaching the business goals that were established at the outset of the project.
You want to cover the distance between go-live and cruising altitude in the shortest amount of time with the least turbulence and ear popping as possible.
And you want to do this for more reasons than just reducing the hard costs you can easily calculate, i.e., the cost of supporting two systems or processes, but because of the reduction of soft costs that come with your people feeling respected, and having dignity in their work and how they are treated.
Make no mistake, there is a price that comes with dragging your people to cruising altitude. There is a price to the overwhelm, silent sabotage, detachment, pessimism, burnout, and turnover of your people.
Good change management keeps those tentacles at bay.
As you can see, change management isn’t a nice to have, it drives the bottom line. There is an incredible ROI when change happens with your people, not to them.
(This is where ChangeAnalytics comes in.)