Businesses today must deal with the fact that change is both constant and unavoidable. By embracing true top-to-bottom business transformation, your organization can maintain its competitive edge by developing change resilience.
Today’s organizations must operate in a perpetual state of change due to newer, faster delivery methods, technological advancements, and the quickly shifting environment brought on by the COVID pandemic.
According to Forbes magazine, Microsoft’s CEO stated, “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital disruption in two months.” To adapt to this new normal and keep employees from becoming confused, organizations must develop change resilience.
The organizational change management (OCM) elements you need to have in place to succeed throughout transformation will be discussed in this blog along with examples of how they actually operate.
1. Write a change narrative that establishes a strong case for change
Transformation initiatives can be divided into several sprints and last for weeks, months, or even years. Change takes time, but new technology and disruptive forces are appearing with increasing frequency. How can we make frequent corporate transformations easier without making people tired in today’s world? By preparing stakeholders for the long haul, creating a change story offers a strategy to help prevent negative responses to change.
Your change story explains what is changing and why at a macro level. This narrative should also discuss the stakeholders it affects, as well as how and when the change will take place (change journey).
Your elevator speech is based on your change story, which you should create with active participation from the Scrum master and leadership.
An expansive consumer goods company, for instance, wished to increase the number of clients it served. The transformation effort was made up of a number of programs connected to numerous acquisitions. They created a change narrative that:
Outlined a new company that would function with a single purchase order, single invoice, and a single truck providing a greater variety of goods. Identified the business areas that the change might affect,
Stakeholder opinions on the modification were taken into account by describing what each milestone would signify to them.
In order to successfully achieve the intended results for your organization, you should share your change story with all impacted stakeholder groups. This will build employee resilience for the shift over the course of the multi-year program.
2. Use user stories to better understand the impacts on stakeholders
User stories often employ straightforward language to define a user’s position, related behaviors, and the value they bring to each unique stakeholder. This makes sure that your workforce is aware of the desired outcomes and operational goals of the company. This strategy enables your team to put themselves in the shoes of the stakeholder inside a certain business circumstance.
User stories aid in the completion of a change impacts analysis from an OCM perspective. This thorough assessment lays forth a summary of each significant shift, its intensity, enablers, and inhibitors of change, as well as other crucial details for each affected position. To achieve “what’s in it for me” (WIIFM) messaging, a change impact assessment is essential. The development of a stakeholder-specific engagement strategy is then driven by the assessment and user stories.
According to a Forbes Coaches Council piece on change management, “leaders frequently underestimate the change or, more precisely, the impact of the change on engagement and productivity. Leaders have had far more time to adjust to the change and have internalized its effects. A change impact assessment can guide the creation of a stakeholder-specific engagement plan and prevent you from neglecting the consequences of transformation on your workers’ day-to-day activities.
Example: A major insurance company was aware of the implications of a recent regulatory change for its products, but it also needed to know what the change meant for the thousands of agents spread out across the nation. Based on the user stories, they carried out a change effect assessment and divided the agents into tiers:
- First-tier agents were adversely affected and need a high-touch engagement approach with personal assistance.
- Lower-rank agents were less affected and simply required the most fundamental training and communications.
- More than 95% of the agents polled agreed that they had the support they needed to deal with the regulatory change as a result of collecting user stories and letting them direct this strategy.
3. Pay attention to both what is remaining the same as well as what is changing
Organizations frequently face tunnel vision, only paying attention to and discussing the impending transformation despite the fact that transformations often include numerous deployments and milestones. It is equally crucial to reiterate what won’t change within the corporation as it is to communicate what will.
Daily operations, organizational structure, purpose and mission, corporate policies, or informal networks are examples of things that might become anchors that help to stabilize and focus your personnel. The stress and worry brought on by numerous transitions are lessened with the aid of these anchors.
An illustration is a decision to change the operational model of a commercial real estate technology consulting company. They desired to change from a compartmentalized, product-focused structure to a globally centralized, functionally based services organization.
While the business identified and implemented changes around them, leadership consistently urged the staff to keep focused on offering their clients high-quality services. The task itself was not changing, according to leadership; rather, they were only changing how they were structured and how they would approach the market.
Employees were able to concentrate on providing high-quality service rather than the most recent organizational announcement thanks to this strategy.
4. Stick with OCM when the initial change is finished
It’s not always possible to alter people’s attitudes and habits in a matter of weeks. It can take weeks, months, or even years. Sprints are frequently limited to timeframes between one week and one month, which does not give enough room to win the support of the relevant stakeholders.
Due to this, it is crucial that OCM activities keep reinforcing future state behaviors through ongoing leadership engagement, communications, and training. They should also update job descriptions and make use of performance reviews, awards, and other forms of encouragement as necessary.
An illustration is the implementation of a new procedure and technology for quality management by the pharmaceutical industry. The personnel did not make use of the new procedure or tool when the initial quality problems appeared after go-live. Instead, they followed the previous procedure and brought the problem to the nearest quality booth. The tactical application of the change management strategy began at that very moment.
The quality representative exclaimed over the improved visibility, emphasized the newest capabilities, demonstrated how to log an issue in the new tool, and explained how to keep track of the ticket. Individual behaviors are altered person by person. Due to the method’s deliberate reinforcement of the change even after go-live, quality representatives are now committed to researching, resolving, and eliminating quality issues rather than merely logging them.
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