As the evolution of consumer trends andneeds accelerate, companies must also change in act and response. In today’s dynamic business environment, where success in hidden in continuous change, anew organizational transformation program is kicked off every day. But only one in every four transformation programs is completed within its purpose. When the programs that are worn off, forgotten or hushed up due to their undesirable or unsatisfactory course are considered, the ratio of successful transformations is even lower. This is why we created a short guideline covering key areas of focus and best practices as well as most common mistakes.
1. Make it Relevant and Meaningful: Smart people commit to what they believe in, otherwise, they only superficially act. Some will call this“resistance to change” but actually it is not. This is “lack of commitment” and is a leadership issue not an employee issue. Without perceiving relevance and meaning of the transformation, there will be no employee commitment so no success. So, the first principle is to make the organizational transformation relevant and meaningful. Help your employees to understand how this change will contribute to business success of which they are a part.
2. Clear, Thoughtful and Conscious Change Governance: Spend time onset-up to enable speed, efficiency and employee ownership in executing the change. Clearly define change leadership roles like change sponsor, steering committee, change champion, change agents, project teams, consultants and controllers.Moreover, define and announce responsibilities of each role and interactions among roles transparently. Finally get commitment on decision levels and authority that will best support the organizational change.
3. Strategic Disciplines for Change: Leaders need a comprehensive, systematic methodology, an enterprise change agenda and an adequate infrastructure to implement change successfully. Set a common language, define and communicate the approach and provide thoughtful oversight, methodology, tools, and infrastructure to ensure that change produces the greatest outcome. Focus on 3 key topics that will frame the strategic discipline for change: (i)identify an enterprise change agenda, (ii) design one common change process methodology, and (iii) build an infrastructure to execute change successfully. These3 points will ensure that your organization has the methods, capabilities, and infrastructures to complete the transformation with success.
4. Clearly Define Scope: Define the scope in all dimensions like scale, culture and mindset as well as technological behavioral requirements. Business strategy, policies, organization structure, job functions and processes are the elements examined almost in every new organizational initiative. But the deeper effects of the change in the organization often neglected. Changing organizational policies, systems and processes, decision-making levels and authorities, and technology and expecting the transformation to be successful is a common illusion that leader fail. Leaders should consider the influence of the change on employee mindsets, culture, emotions, behavior, responses and relations.This is the only way to diagnose the risks and barriers in front of the change and cleanse them.
5. One Change One Initiative: Organizational transformations require many initiatives. But treating all initiatives as a separate task or project causes excessive work load, disconnection of employees, unnecessary competition and organizational weariness. Have a solid enterprise change agenda. Alignment, integration and unification of all initiatives as one unified initiative ensures employee involvement, resource saving, correct prioritization and accelerated success of organizational transformation.
6. Create Capacity for Change: Set realistic timelines and create capacity to execute the change. Organizational transformation is clearly not a task that can be squeezed in between other tasks. So adequately plan the time, effort, and resources required to carry out change and create capacity by either delegating responsibilities of the team leading the change to free-up their capacity or recruiting additional capacity to make change. Otherwise, ongoing daily work takes precedence, team motivation for change loses its strength and transformation fails.
7. Consider Organizational Culture Change First: Culture articulates a company’s unique approach to conducting work every day and effects the behaviors that shape the tone of how your organization works. Culture is amajor force directly influencing the success of organizational transformation. Successful transformational change can only be achieved by organizations which continuously and successfully transforms their culture. It is useless to invest multi-million dollars in technology installations if organizational culture do not embrace the new way of working with that technology.
8. Build a Role Model Leadership Team of Change: Start building a leadership change team by assessing current mindsets, behaviors, and styles to see if they are supporting or inhibiting the changes the organization needs to make. Organizational change does not necessarily have to be driven top to down but leaders changing their mindsets, behaviors, styles and approaches at the early stages of transformation, demonstrate the credibility of the change and encourage the rest of the organization to do so without any doubt or confusion.
9. Design Actions to Respond Emotional Reactions: Organizational transformation starts from leader and moves top to down. But to be sustainable transformations need to ensure employee involvement. Ultimately, smart people like the ones in your organization change from inside out, not by force from top to down. A leader also must keep in mind that negative emotional reactions get around much faster than the positive ones. What you need to do is to build in strategies to mitigate the negative emotional reactions and put adequate attention to minimize them as they occur.
10. Stakeholder Engagement: Employee or stakeholder engagement is not easy if your organizational transformation relies too heavily on from top to down communication or stakeholders are involved after the design of the transformation is complete. A good leader always has a design in mind for the next transformation but a good leader also listens stakeholder to understand what they think the organization needs, what are the breakthrough issues and how they think these issues can be solves. So, start with understanding stakeholders and use these insight to shape the design of organizational transformation in your mind. That will help stakeholders to feel that their thoughts are valued and involved in the change which will make each a change agent in your organization.