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Change management & execution

Source | LinkedIn : By Nadeem Baig

Change management and execution are two very different concepts, where one is more project management aligned and the other is implementing actions to manage overall change. Very often organizations do not succeed in adapting to change because of various reasons; however there are some actions that top the list because of which a great plan does not meet realization.

Top reasons why change gets the better of an organization & an informed way of tackling obstacles:

  • PLAN OF ACTION: no plan survives contact; however not having one is instant failure. A great plan is one that tackles 6 broad areas-

    a) What is changing-
    It is of paramount importance that changes are highlighted, in addition to adding crisp timelines for implementation. The as is process VS the new process and implementation dates next to each are a sure way to highlight the exact areas that people need to focus on.

    b) Who is affected by change-
    Information always needs to be disseminated on a need to know basis; however as a thumb rule all policy changes should be shared with the organization as a whole.

    c) Communication-
    It is always good to over communicate rather than under communicate. A combination of mails, calls and trainings are best suited to ensure wide reach of changes. The basic objective is to create a buzz around changes, where people are talking about it. This word of mouth has the widest and most effective reach, which should be the target to achieve.

    d) Standardize to diversify- All plans should follow a funnel approach, where a broad level plan is trimmed to suite market flavors. An 80/20 approach where 80% is static and 20% is kept to tailor as per nuances/ laws in different markets.

    e) Anticipated challenges- Entering a constantly changing environment without anticipating challenges is toxic to the transforming organization. Once must plan for the worst and hope for the best when volatility is the law of the land.

    f) Roles & Responsibilities- A go to person for enquiries, escalations & exceptions is a must and should be published to avoid further confusions. In most cases it’s not the actual change that is a problem, it is not knowing who to reach out to incase of doubts that creates discomfort.

  • EYE ON THE BALL: In a constantly changing environment it is easy to lose focus on the objective of the exercise and start putting out smaller fires that would have normally died a natural death. Change is inevitable but one needs to separate planned change from collateral change to ensure the right nail is being hammered on its head.
  • NOBODY LIKES CHANGE: As ironical as this paradox is that the only thing constant in life is change, it is equally imperative to accept as the gospel truth. We often treat people as a separate entity from the organization, whereas the fact of the matter is that it is the people who make the organization and this is critical when one looks at implementing a change management strategy. It is not difficult for sentiments and tempers to run high and spread like forest fire when people are not managed properly. Constant communication, a SPOC for them to reach out to in addition to working towards feedbacks received will minimize the extent of disruption.

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