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Organizational Change Management

Certifications

M. A. Business Coaching & Change Management

PROSCI® Change Management Practitioner 

Introduction

 

“The only constant in life is change.” Heraclitus

Changes have always been omnipresent and affect all areas of life. But how does successful change work? Is it all about short term wins? What do you have to implement? And what is necessary to sustain the change?

If you want to sustain the change and to manage successful change, it is very important to focus on the whole organization, the people side, the leaders and the leadership style, the resources, and the teams. Your specific business, the use of new technology, the process of how to support the change, the specific change benefits and overview of tools can help you in the implementation process of change management.

However, change management also requires workshops and training courses. 

People who are affected by change must be aware of the "why". 

Why are the changes necessary, why must the change take place now and why do I have to change?

What is Change Management?

Change management is a structured and holistic process that starts with the definition of the change and the objective, but also includes the target groups and success factors as well as the topics of leadership, corporate culture and communication. Change management focuses on people, leaders, teams and resources to manage change.
Change management always considers the goals pursued, the process of change and the processes that need to be changed. Change management thus helps to relate the individual actors and topics of change to one another and to achieve the best possible solution overall.

Change management always tries to take best practices into account and therefore uses change models. But it is also very important to focus on the different types of organizational change.

Types of organizational change

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Why is Change Management important for organizations?

Organizational Change management can be used in an organization or team. Continuous development contributes to the fact that organizations must be able to survive in the rapidly changing world that surrounds and directly influences them.

Changes can have a serious impact on the existing structure of organizations and, in the process affect, for example, its organizational structures and processes. New departments are created or an existing team is merged with another team. Existing workflows are made more efficient or automated, or new processes are introduced. The PROSCI change approach is a systematic approach which focuses on the resistance of the people, the resources and the challenges which need to be taken. Short term and long term wins are considered and the ADKAR methodology helps companies in their change initiative to take the right steps.

The implementation of change management helps the companies and the leaders to manage challenges and to implement the necessary technology and to use the right tools.

Changes not only affect structures and processes, they also influence the levels of the social fabric or the work behavior of employees. Changed framework conditions such as flexible working hours and performance-based compensation models play an important role within an organization. New management tools - such as the implementation of 360° feedback or a different style of leadership- also require managers to deal with their employees differently.

An organization which uses change management in combination with necessary tools, benefits, resources, training measures and technology will benefit from the changed human mindset for many years. The implementation of change management will definitely help the leaders in future challenges.

Change Management Questions to Ask:

  • Why or for what purpose is the change or the transition necessary?​

  • What is the objective of change and what exactly should have been changed once the goal is reached?

  • Which processes are affected?

  • Who is affected by the transition? How exactly is the goal defined?

  • What is the status quo and what is your change strategy to get things done?

  • Have you created a change plan and who is responsible for the change process?

  • How do you measure and monitor the progress?

  • Has the goal been achieved sustainably?

  • Did you celebrate success?

Objectives of Change Management

Typical objectives of change management are listed below:​

objectives-of-change-management.png

Models of Change Management

The ADKAR model of PROSCI for example uses awareness, desire, knowledge, ability and reinforcement. It is important to create a sense of urgency in your change initiative. With this approach, resistance to change can be reduced and existing resistance from employees can be addressed at an early stage. The ADKAR model was created by PROSCI and is a scientific based change approach. The ADKAR model is part of the PROSCI change management strategy. Other parts are the PCT model and the PROSCI 3 phases process.

Change models like the ADKAR approach, the Kotter model, or the Change Canvas are popular systemic approaches to manage change. Best practices of organizational change always consider the change management team, the benefits of change, how to implement change, the different steps of the change process and the change management plan.

I am not focused on one particular change management process or change management approach, but I always try to evaluate the actual situation, focus on the goal and apply the best practices to achieve the goal for the specific transition. This can be the approach of Kotter or Prosci, but also the Change Canvas model or the GRIFFOX Bullseye model.

Anyway, always keep in mind that you also need a change management plan and the right tools.

Image by Tachina Lee

Why do you need a Change Management model?

A change management model primarily points out which aspects are necessary for a successful organizational change and ensures that all essential aspects will be implemented. In addition, it ensures that the change management process and the progress is made measurable.

What is the best Change Management model? Aspects for Project Management

There are a lot of different change management models available like ADKAR model, Kotter modell, Change Canvas. I think the best approach is always the model which suits your organizational change in the best way and helps you implementing change management. From my point of view there is no "one size fits all" solution.

GRIFFOX Bullseye Model

Necessary aspects of a change model should be:

Griffox_Bullseeye_model-final.png

But it is also very important to keep the following aspects in mind:

Resistance to change, create a sense of urgency, create a human working atmosphere, start implementing the right tools.

You can use the following points for your Project Management.

Vision – Why is Change necessary?

What is the vision or objective of the change? What exactly should be changed and what is the reason for this change?

Change management should always be characterized by clear objectives. A goal helps in measuring the achievement of goals, in communication with employees, in motivating the people who carry out the change management and in deriving sub-goals and milestones.​ In most change projects there are many employees who are happy to participate in the change and act in the interests of their employer.

However, the prerequisite for this is always that the employees also understand why the change is necessary and what exactly is expected of them. Clear and transparent communication across all levels of the organization is therefore an essential part of change management. The vision should always be as inspiring and driving as possible for the employees. It must therefore pull the employees in the desired direction and have an inspiring effect on the employees. Change initiatives that do not take this into account will always have a hard time getting employees enthusiastic about change.

Goal - What is our goal? Who or what should be changed and when is the goal reached?

Why do I distinguish vision and goal? 

​In practice, I often experience that this point is overseen very quickly. The goal seems clear. Two departments are merged, a merger is carried out or new software is introduced company-wide. So the goal is clear. Or not?

In my opinion, the vision of change management defines the why of the change. What exactly has to be changed? What happens to us if we don't carry out the change project? Without the change initiative, where will our business be in 5 years? 

​Setting a clear goal

I think the goal must be clearer and more concrete than the vision. If it's just a question of introducing software and after the introduction all employees are dissatisfied due to the software implementation, do their work worse, are unmotivated or, in the worst case, leave the company, then the goal can hardly have been achieved. So the goal takes care of the successful business of organizations. Managing day to day business, to support in difficult situations, to create an awesome working atmosphere and to implement best practices for organizations must be part of the change management goal.

​Goal! Goal! Goal!

That's why it's important for me to manifest the goal clearly at the beginning of change initiatives. What exactly is the goal? What part of organizations or who should be changed specifically? What are the best possible ways to support a change project? 

Answering these questions help us managing the change project in a targeted and successful manner and to measure whether we have achieved the goal or not.

Strategy & tactics - What is our strategy? What is our tactic? What does our change management strategy look like?

Strategy

In terms of strategy and tactics, analogies from sports help to visualize what exactly is supposed to happen.​

 

 

Strategy stands for the basic planning on paper, i.e. in a rather abstract way. Strategy is influenced to a large extent by the previous analysis of a change management project. How do organizations fit together in a merger? Which training, coaching or workshop will your employees need? How can the managers support change? Is an example easy to understand? Should you use storytelling?

The analysis provides the answers that are required to set up the project in the best possible way.

Tactics

Tactics are based on the strategy at the beginning of the change initiative and then look at the ongoing development. Do I use the PROSCI model or another one? Tactical decisions react to the content and deviations identified in the project. So if problems arise that could not have been planned in advance, the tactics pick up on these issues and make corrections to the course of the project. 

Status Quo – Change diagnostic – Where do we stand now?

The status quo enables a comparison to be made between the current status and the status planned within the framework of the vision and goal. The difference between the two points also represents the work packages to be carried out. The PROSCI methodology offers various tools for an analysis of the change initiative and to get a feeling as well as concrete indications of where the essential points for the project success lie. However, it should always be noted that areas that are already very positive must also continue to be kept in mind. It can never be ruled out that these positive areas will develop into negative ones if they are neglected. It is therefore important to carry out the analyzes continuously and holistically.

Image by Thomas Bormans

Project Management - Create a Change plan!

Project management plays an essential role in change management. This is due to the fact that change initiatives often run longer and it is not exactly predictable how people will behave in a change project. Not every employee will always be enthusiastic about a change and it is therefore not clear what consequences the individual employee draws for himself or herself.

Image by Jason Goodman

However, change projects always consist of different sub-aspects, i.e. sub-projects, and always have milestones to evaluate progress and make adjustments if necessary.

In this respect, a functioning project management is very important for the success of change management.

Whether the project is being operated in a more traditional or more agile way is a question that the organization must clarify for itself. Change management can always be operated with both forms of project management.

Stakeholder management
(CEO / Board / Leaders / Employees / Change Agents)

Stakeholder management stands for the ongoing exchange and supply of project-relevant information with the stakeholders of the project. At first glance, these are usually the CEO, C-level managers and the board of directors. In any case, this group of people is of great importance for the project, since their position makes them very noticeable in the project. Both positive and negative behaviors about the project affect the project itself.

A positive CEO can have a powerful impact on the project and employees if he behaves positively and supportively. In the opposite case, of course, the same applies.

 

In stakeholder management, the employees affected by the change must not be neglected. The employees usually carry out the respective work. If the employees oppose the project, it is difficult to achieve the set goal. Stakeholder management can also help to engage employees in change management projects by using timely and transparent communication. 

 

Stakeholder management must therefore continuously take care of the individual groups of people and address problems at an early stage.

Monitoring and Steering - Milestone management

The interaction of the individual building blocks must lead to continuous monitoring of the project. This comparison takes place during ongoing project management and should be based on milestone plans. Problems found are discussed in the project and necessary adjustments can be made. Most of those involved are familiar with this control process from various projects.

 

Despite everything, it must also be ensured that the achievement of goals is always kept in mind, the time horizon is not forgotten and that the steering committee regularly reports on the development of the change management project. If you are struggling in change management, there are different approaches which can be used like Coaching, Consulting, Facilitation, Process Management or Training.

Communication

Communication is one of the key drivers of change management. 

Based on the previously described vision of the change management project, it is necessary to explain the vision to the employees, to inspire them with the vision & goal and to convince them that the path taken by the change initiative is the right one.

In practice, many different forms of communication can be found for this purpose. Which form of communication is exactly used in the respective change project usually always depends on the corporate culture of the organization.

In a long-established, conservative company, other forms of communication are normally established than in a young, hip start-up.

What does day to day business look like? Is an organization using lectures and brochures or is it normal to act in an agile and digital way?

Don't use just one form of communication. Use all forms of communication which are commonly used.

Awareness & Desire

It is necessary to care about awareness, desire and the human side of change. Yes, definitely. If you don't, the change project will fail. Implementing different ways to work always means that people need to change and to adapt to the new working style. But if they don't like a new working style, what is their reason to change? Money is not the best motivator and if people see that they can work in an easier way for a different company, then they might quit.

The PROSCI change approach and the Kotter change approach point out that it is very important to have the right attitude to change from the beginning. So always keep in mind that it might be necessary to change the mindset of your employees and managers.

Why do we read so often that changes fail?

Changes in companies cannot be viewed according to a specific pattern because the reasons for the change are too different. Change projects are canceled for a variety of reasons. It is therefore important to keep an eye on the sponsor and the stakeholders, because they are mostly decisive for the successful completion of the project.

 

What I think about canceling change projects, you can find below.

Sponsor and Stakeholders

​The change sponsor is the person or group of people who initiated the change and who has the greatest interest in the success of the transition. These are often C-level managers or the company board. Since change initiatives often last longer, which is primarily due to the fact that people cannot change completely overnight, in practice it often happens that a change project is canceled because the time to implement took longer than originally planned.

Budget-relevant aspects can also lead to the termination.

 

As a result, change management initiatives that are terminated or aborted are often rated as failed.

Success in change management

My opinion is a little bit different.

I think successful change always means to manage change based on best practices, to support the change in the whole organization with the clear intention to reach a higher level of change maturity, to take care of an effective change management and to especially take the people's side in mind. If our approach to change looks like this, then we not only take care of the current state, the people's side and the individual change aspects, but also of the goals of the organizations or companies. From that perspective, change management is successful when we use coaching, training in change management or implement useable tools to support the human side of change and reach a higher level of change maturity.

Implementing change management always means to deal with the aware
ness, the desire, the people's side, the sense of urgency and the current state from the beginning of the change management. Managing change in an organization has always to take care of internal aspects of the business of the organization.

So what internal level of change maturity have your different teams? And what internal level of change maturity has your organization?

Results of managing Change

If the people have the right mindset at the beginning of the project, it usually leads to having a greater awareness to changes and to change management. At the same time, this ensures that change projects do not have to be rated as completely failed, even if they are terminated prematurely. It is important that change initiatives are managed by professional change management experts and that the points that are most important for the success of the organizational change need to be carried out based on a very good change management process. Managing change always means to take a deep dive in the human side of change and to understand that a change within an extremely short period of time is impossible.

Next steps

Talking about transformational change always means that your leaders are engaged to change the current process. To change the process (or in most cases: many processes) you need technology and sometimes new technology in order to be successful. But that's not all. Be aware that you always need a plan - a good plan!

So let's get in touch, set up your plan and start your change initiative!

Contact

Your problem needs to be solved? Don't hesitate and contact me. I'm more than happy to help you.

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