Most change practitioners have worked in a model where they are attached to a project, and are responsible for supporting the people impacted by the project. This approach has definitely improved the success rate of major change initiatives over the last decade, but we still have a long way to go. I believe change management is required both earlier and later in the project life cycle than is currently the case – and this article outlines how to dramatically improve business results during implementation for minimal additional cost.
We know that when people understand and can see the benefit of the change personally, they are much more likely to adopt the change. However, with most projects, the change managers don’t have time to fully appreciate the impact on all stakeholder groups and are not able to provide to the level of detailed support that helps individuals be productive in the new system quickly. There is usually too big a jump between a project change manager and an impacted individual.
Therefore, for larger projects, consider a model where a project has a ‘delivering’ change manager as well as ‘receiving’ change managers for each stakeholder group.
Today, I’m posting the results of a productive discussion held this week with the Canberra Community of Practice OCM, of which I am a member. We discussed what advice we would give someone to build his/her own organisational change management capability.
I’ve structured our advice in five groups:
– About You
– About Change Management
– About Your Organisation
– About Your Managers
– About Your Work
– About Failing
Please let us know what you think in the comments!
by Walter Bellin (a combined blog post and book review for Climb a Different Ladder)
Firstly, full disclosure. I am a Q12 change agent, which is the profiling system discussed in this book. Walter Bellin designed and developed Q12 with his colleague Robert Prinable. I was accredited in 2009, and met the author at that time. I have a business coaching people (either face to face or via Skype) using the Q12 profiling system.
I have been waiting for this book for quite some time. What interests me most is mass consciousness shifting (such as societal or organisational change), and deep personal transformation. The link between the levels of self awareness/personal growth of the individual and the urgent requirements of organisations to adapt to their ever changing environment are strong to me, and are neatly outlined in this book. Walter Bellin has been a teacher and leader in both personal and organisational transformation for decades, and his extraordinary knowledge and experience has resulted in a powerful book.
Your change management role, whatever the project is, includes educating those around you about change management. Even if that is not part of your job description, you need to put it there. You need to find ways to assist those around you to see how change management is helping their project be more successful.
Change Management Offices, or CMOs, are becoming increasingly popular, alongside the growth of the PMO or Project/Program Management Office. Is a CMO something you’re currently implementing? Or perhaps you wish your organisation would implement one?
A CMO can be a terrific way to centralise change management efforts in your organisation. It can further legitimise change activities, ensure consistent approaches to change, communications and training, and manage resources effectively across changing priorities. It can manage organisational change reporting and ensure the focus is appropriate to the executive audience and other stakeholders.
So. You have done your course, you know what practicing change management should look like, you might have even worked as a change manager on a few projects, and now you find yourself compiling meeting minutes. Or it seems your duties appear to include business analysis work, or you’ve perhaps suddenly been given responsibility for the department’s newsletters, or provisioning users for a new software system. Sound familiar?
Many change agents join the profession because of a genuine desire to assist people through change. It can be extremely fulfilling work. A group of people, empowered through effective change management, can be the difference between success and failure of an intiative. To know you have successfully shepherded such a change can be deeply rewarding.
However, there are many statistics that discuss the high proportion of failed projects, so our chances of success aren’t high to begin with. While poor change management is one reason projects fail, rarely are conditions optimal for a change agent to provide quality work in the first place.