According to a recent CEB whitepaper on Enterprise Change Management…
The average organization has undergone five enterprise changes in the past
three years. From restructuring to leadership transitions to M&A, today’s
organizational changes are significant and complex for any organization.
Also, 73% of organizations expect more change initiatives in the next few years. So are organizations ready for all of this change? Nope.
In today’s world of committee based, data driven decision making, it is often easier to not make a decision (or stick with status quo), than to change. Change introduces new risks with the potential new opportunities. That is scary for many executives who are hoping for incremental growth every year. Of course betting your future on hope is risky by itself.
So what to do? Get help!
An outside facilitator is a great way to engage new ideas, focus on outcomes and manage the delivery of experiments. Why outside? It keeps the politics at bay and often this is a full time job to get this machine of organizational change success going.
If you could do this on your own, you would have done it already. Right?
No matter what you think of the term and movement over the past several years around Agile, the proven frameworks for prioritization, managing change, timeboxing and validating outcomes work… and work well with modern teams. CEB uses the term open sourcing to engage the people doing the work to make change. That is what the Agile movement was all about. By co-creating change together, results are improved in culture and execution.
Example: Lack of Agile/Open Source Change Management
A large consumer product company adding software features to new products.
There was a company a few years ago who engaged an outside firm for ideas on a new market. Upon presenting an MVP to actual customers, they said they would not buy it. The good news is they shared insight into what they would buy. The company thought.. great, lets build it. The problem is that the company did not prepare for the changes organizationally which were required to deliver a continuously updated product. They were used to building it once and hoping customers kept buying. This was a modern product where features could be delivered every couple of weeks. The organization became the constraint on the market opportunity.
Don’t let this be you!
Example: Employee Engaged Agile/Open Source Change Management
A medium sized healthcare software company adding software features to market.
Another company embraced change at an organizational level. To deliver continuously updated new features to market (features may be software, process or experiences), everyone needs to be engaged. From executives, to development to customer service… new ideas and perspectives were cooked into the change strategies. When someone called customer service, they were part of the strategy in communication. Customers responded very positively and growth resulted. A few years later, the exit was a great success story.
So, no matter what you call it… Change Management is not a corporate/executive initiative by itself. To be successful, every key employee should be able to help with change and create an environment of success to enable change.