10 Critical Factors for a Successful Change Initiative

Did you know that Challenge Consulting can provide an Organisational Change Workshop for your organisation? The workshop is designed to help Human Resources Staff and Line Managers to work through the critical steps when anticipating or managing organisational change to ensure the best possible outcome for all stakeholders. To find out more about what the workshop entails, click here. 

Managing change within an organisation is not easy. It’s not routine. It’s not “business as usual.” Even a project as simple as upgrading your performance management system impacts what people do, and what it costs. This takes committed leadership and the combined force of three very different types of individuals—experts, networkers, and passionate champions—who work together to address the following 10 critical factors for a successful change initiative:

1. Clear Governance

The objective of the project needs to be clear and the team’s decision making capability needs to be carefully set up. Linkage research indicates that the most important factor in a team’s ability to succeed is the clarity of its charter.

2. Set Up For Success

Project teams need to be visible, viable, and have the support and sponsorship of good leadership in the organisation. They also need to have access to all of the essential resources including computers, time, and money.

3. Count On Your Passionate Champions

Who are your passionate champions? It’s critical to get your best organisational salespeople behind the initiative who have conviction (and courage) for the project.

4. Powerful Conversations

A “powerful conversation” is a candid, open discussion of needs and wants—one in which both parties examine what they need and what the other needs, and then try to satisfy each other’s needs. An email won’t cut it. Project teams need to get out of their cubicles and talk to people face-to-face to make change possible.

5. Challenge the Sacred Cows

The most successful teams have two competencies that, above all else, help them to succeed: 1. the ability to see things for what they really are and, 2. the ability to successfully challenge the organisation to raise the bar. A successful team must get underneath the myths and falsehoods the organisation tells about itself and create a realistic assessment of the current state in order to map the way forward.

6. Remove the Distractions

Organisations are by nature in a state of homeostasis or balance. Finding the right leverage point to create change is often quite difficult and it usually doesn’t arise out of harmony and good feelings. It often arises out of chaos, conflict, and raw emotion. Very few organisations achieve real change by keeping “business as usual” rules in place. You need to change the rules of the game—the culture—to make change.

7. Send the Right Signals

Breakthroughs happen when significant numbers of individuals act differently, so it’s not good enough for organisational change to be taken on by only the committed few. Leadership must set an organisational context in which it is okay for people to participate and change, and send clear signals to the entire population that change is not only permitted, it’s encouraged.

8. Allow for Individual Growth

For many people, changing their belief system, learning new habits, and forging ahead are required for organisational change. But we can’t mandate people to change; they need to be allowed to follow their own passions for mastery. People need support to learn and grow and it’s okay to be slow! Take the time and respect the process that each individual must go through to change.

9. Signs of Credibility

As new processes are mapped and implemented and the bugs worked out, be sure to watch for signs of progress. You won’t see the signs in management meetings, but you should see signs in informal conversations in the company kitchen or at parties away from the office. You may actually hear some positive results!

10. Measure the Results

Measurement provides clarity of purpose for the intervention to all players in the organisation. When organisations and teams take on significant organisational change, the understanding of the world at the beginning of the project will be very different from the beliefs at the end. Measurements need to change to reflect these new understandings. Customise measurements to fit the needs and demands of different stakeholders.
There is one point of caution: No intervention can be done before its time. All of these rules to the game require time to play out. You can’t change an organisation without changing the individuals within it. Sometimes this can be done quickly and easily; most of the time, however, it takes a commodity in short supply: patience.

[Source: mylinkage.com]