My definition of change
C ✔ Can do with attitude, Embrace Change
H ✔Happy to change, if it helps
A ✔Adaption is the key
N ✔Navigate in change
G ✔Got this opportunity to make a difference
E ✔ Experience it, it will make you better Be a change driver than a change receiver!
Definition I shared above is not a natural definition, it takes a lot of effort, practice and experience to reach this state.
Why do we need change & what is a natural reaction to change?
Change is the river of our life. The evolution or revolution both come through change. We often have two choices, participate in change or resist change.
Newton’s First Law is applicable to change as people want to be in same state, anything new makes them uncomfortable.
They will participate in change if they feel it will be beneficial – What’s in it for me (WIIFM) or when they are forced to change.
The Change Cycle
- Oh! – surprise or shock or denial
- Okay but? – bargaining or anxiety
- That’s Okay – acceptance
- I understand & that’s Okay – the new normal
Wildly Important Goal (WIG) – a key to change execution
For successful change execution, it is important to make it clear to the team the goal that matters most (WIG). Failure to achieve it will make every other accomplishment seem secondary—or possibly even inconsequential.
The key factors that will help sail through change are:
- Focus – Clarity on area of focus
- Engagement – How do we engage stakeholders/team
- Impact – Assessment impact of each step you take
- Accountability – Ownership
Culture Eats Change for Lunch
Unfortunately, many leaders (and some change practitioners) don’t attend to the culture as they should when confronting major upheavals. Sometimes, they disregard the power of culture to maintain the status quo. Sometimes, culture is seen as “too soft and mushy” to address. Some leaders believe that the culture will change on its own once a new strategy (or new organizational structure, or new technology) is in place.
They might also feel the investment required to change culture is too high, or the process of changing culture too difficult.
Finally, there are those leaders who believe they can avoid addressing culture until the “real” work of change has been completed (which they see as installing the new policies, procedures, etc.).
When leaders with any of these perspectives introduce significant initiatives, their organization’s culture will likely overwhelm the changes and leave their commitments less than fully realized. When we as practitioners don’t know how to effectively address cultural change or are unwilling to be explicit with leaders about the need to do so, we are complicit in undermining realization of the intended outcomes.
Communication must be HOT! (Honest | Open | Two Way)
A transformation is like changing the wheels of the bus while the bus is on the move. It is important that right from start all parties involved are either inside the bus or not travelling, you can’t successfully transform if people are travelling on the footboard of the bus.
The analogy above means that the buy-in of all involved is important and for this communication is the key.
Communications help better understand the change – the reason, benefits, impact to them and their role.
Navigate through the change
I can tell you stories of hitting the wall many times.
When a plan sees the daylight, it does not appear as in the planning document. It is so vital in a change management to have plan “B” ready.
Business work in changing surroundings as a result plans also need to adopt.
A change leader is one who knows the way goes the way and shows the way.
Peel the onion
How are different regions in an organisation absorb and adopt the change is key to sustain the benefit desired.
When the rubber hits the road the effort always appears to be more than planned for, it is vital that the change manager work through stakeholders to ensure they sail through the launch and provide support to make necessary tweaks. Real-life has insane details.
Collaboration is vital to sustain what we call profound or deep change because without it organisations are overwhelmed by the forces of status-quo.
It needs to come down with force and from the top
You can try as hard as you want but you will never have cent percent agreement on anything, you will need to understand that change is not a democratic process it’s to an extent autocratic.
You can do surveys to find is people understand why change, you can do town halls to explain people, you can have roadshows and you can set up change clinics but at end of day you will have to impose change.
A classic example is when you talk to top honchos, they will be seamless, and all aligned for change. The minute you go down few layers you will realize you are the only one among critics. They will have all the explanation why this change is not the best for there part of the organisation.
It is then the change manager needs to show resilience and perseverance. Explore ways to sail through without burning the bridges.