Organizational changes all too often meet requirements and fail to deliver expected result. They are focused on delivering necessary outputs and fail to deliver expected outcomes.
Projects focus mainly on a solution rather than the benefits of a solution. The key to a success is people who can bring change to life in their day-to-day work. They can fill the gap between requirements and results, between outputs and outcomes and between solutions and benefits.
Change management therefore prepares, equips and supports people to adopt the change and use it in a way that initiatives deliver expected results and outcomes.
AWARENESS FOR THE NEED FOR CHANGE
If we want the change to be successful, we need to start building awareness. For each individual within the organization it is important to understand WHY the change is needed and why it has to happen right now. Business drivers and opportunities behind the change must be clearly explained and people must also understand the risks involved if the change does not happen. Prosci’s latest benchmarking study shows that the lack of awareness is the number one reason for employee resistance.
DESIRE TO SUPPORT THE CHANGE
Once the individual understands WHY the change is needed NOW, they can contribute to the successful change by making a personal decision to support and participate in it. The reasons for the change must be translated into individual desire to take required action. This is a demanding process as it is ultimately a personal decision and is not under our direct control. There are techniques we can use to influence an individual’s decision, but the final decision to embrace change stays with the individual.
KNOWLEDGE OF HOW TO CHANGE
Although building knowledge is an important part of change management, it is not the building block to start with. Two distinct types of knowledge are recognized in change management:
How to change – knowing what to do during the transition.
How to perform effectively in the future state – to know the needed skills and behaviors to support the change.
Employees need to bring change to life in their day-to-day work and this can only be achieved in a context of all five milestones of individual change.
ABILITY TO DEMONSTRATE SKILLS AND BEHAVIORS
Ability is the stage when the change occurs and individuals change their day-to-day work in order to achieve the expected performance/results. Building ability may take some time as the knowledge gained in previous stage must be translated into the ability to actually perform.
With consideration on difference between knowledge and ability, one can help employees not only learn new skills and behaviors, but also put them into practice. It may take some time, practice and coaching to achieve the desired result.
REINFORCEMENT TO MAKE THE CHANGE STICK
Making a change in the organization is hard but sustaining the change is even harder. Researches show that it is in human nature to return to the most comfortable and familiar state and this makes reinforcement of change such a challenge.
High change saturation makes it even more difficult as once the change is made, we are often already moving to the next one. Without proactively planning reinforcement of change and using methodic approach, we risk that investment might be wasted and desired result not achieved.
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