In order to achieve desired outcomes, transformation must be mandated by executive
leadership, with involvement by all levels of the organization
Constant change characterizes successful companies. They keep moving forward all of the time. The degree to which leaders are able to manage change, gain consensus, and sustain commitment will determine the success (or failure) of any transformation initiative. Transformation usually creates “people issues.” Jobs will be changed, new skills and capabilities must be developed and employees will be uncertain and resistant. We assume that all change is negative until managed positively.
A formal approach for managing change, beginning with the leadership team and then engaging key stakeholders, is developed and adapted as change moves through the organization. Our change-management approach is fully integrated into program design and decision making. It is based on a realistic assessment of the organization’s history, readiness, and capacity to change.
We Are Experts in Dealing with The "Soft Side" Of Change
We have over 30 years of experience managing change. Our end-to-end project management process from strategy to tactics through implementation, our “real world” understanding of business dynamics and our hands-on approach has proven to be extremely successful. Client employees respect and have confidence in the application of our experience to their group and individual situations. The integrity of our commitment to help leadership create positive change typically permeates an organization.
Our Change Management Experiences Have Been Wide Ranging
We’ve been involved in highly complex situations such as aligning diverse philosophies and visions of multi-division companies, transitioning entrepreneurs who have built successful companies to the next generation of growth, facilitating diverse philosophies in family run businesses to common agreement and helping recently hired change agents manage change through organizational resistance. And, of course, routinely managing change in less complex situations.
Our Guiding Principles
We adhere to the following eight change management disciplines:
- Start at the top. Senior Executives must embrace change to both challenge and motivate the rest of the organization. They must speak with one voice and practice the desired behaviors.
- Involve all levels. Transformation affects different levels of the organization. Change efforts must include plans for identifying change leaders throughout the organization and pushing responsibility for implementation down so that change “cascades” through the organization. This creates ownership and commitment.
- Make case for change. Articulate a convincing need for change, its impact on the future of the company and its implications on people.
- Top down/bottom up communication. Reinforce core messages through regular, timely communication down through the organization. Encourage communications from the bottom up to solicit input and feedback.
- Assess the cultural landscape. Identify and assess the core values, beliefs, behaviors and perceptions that should be taken into account for successful change to occur. This guides the development of essential change elements and programs needed to drive change. It defines organizational readiness to change, it brings potential problems to the surface, it identifies potential conflicts, and defines factors that can recognize and influence sources of leadership and resistance.
- Address culture directly. Once the culture is understood, it should be addressed as thoroughly as any other area in a change program. Leaders should be explicit about the culture and underlying behaviors that will best support the new way of doing business. The end-state or desired culture must be clearly defined with detailed plans to make the transition.
- Prepare for the unexpected. Effectively managing change requires continual reassessment of its impact and the organization’s willingness and ability to adapt to transformation. Fed by information from all affected areas, and supported by solid decision-making processes, change leaders must make the adjustments necessary to maintain momentum and drive results.
- Speak to the individual. Individuals (or teams of individuals) need to know how their work will change, what is expected of them during and after the change program, how they will be measured, and what success or failure will mean for them and those around them. Team leaders should be as honest and explicit as possible. People will react to what they see and hear around them, and need to be involved in the change process. We also identify the level of involvement of all participants in charge, which also helps us understand the impact of changing the business versus running the business.
Running the Business versus Changing the Business
Recognition of the importance of multiple projects on the organization is important. We review all projects and assess the degree of impact on each function…high, medium, low and no change impact. This enables us to determine the pace of change in a manner that will ensure changing the business will not interfere with running the business. Understanding the timing of change allows us to reduce the impact through the strategic use of the calendar. It allows us to manage change in a controlled fashion.