Human beings are creatures of homeostasis: We tend to be happiest when things stay the same. Yet the surest sign that an organization is healthy is constant learning and growing in a process of continuous improvement.
When you consider these factors together, you can begin to see why organizational change management is so important. Your business needs to change and develop, but you also need the support of your people. You’re not going to get that support with a one-off email and a couple of trainings. Instead, an intentional approach based on proven methodologies is the best way to see real results.
This is not a small task, and you’ll probably need some support. But, done right, your business can thrive as your people embrace what change may come.
Creating a Balanced Approach to Organizational Change Management
Big change in an organization can often mean putting up blinders. While you’re laser focused on a new technology implementation, you might be getting in the way of employee adoption if you aren’t also working to bring teams along.
As Simon Sinek has said, you have to start with a vision of why: Why is this change so important, and how will it help your employees? Your customers? Your organizational strength? Change management isn’t just about introducing something new. Success depends on employee adoption and usage, and that begins by sharing your long-term vision.
No, Really: Change Management Depends on Your People
When you implement strategic changes or drive a digital transformation within your organization, how are you estimating your project ROI? For most organizations, that tally is centered on the features and functions of the new technology or approach.
But if that’s all you account for, you’re left with an incomplete picture. The truth is you also need to plan for those outcomes that result from how your people adapt—your people-dependent ROI. Successful change management requires a two-pronged approach, one that drives change at the organizational and individual levels.
Get Change Management Right the First Time
You don’t get a mulligan in organizational change management. A mishandled implementation is going to leave a lot of frustration in its wake and could cost your organization time, money, and even employees.
Yet successful implementation is also a whole lot to manage. (There’s a reason some organizations have full-time staff devoted to OCM.) If you’re not looking to build out a brand new department for the changes you have planned, never fear: An experienced partner can help you chart a course through the process with a custom approach that’s right for your team.
From evaluating your change agility to developing manager coaching and training plans, the right partner can guide you every step of the way.
Ongoing Support for Organizational Change Management
If you decide to bring in a partner, what should you be looking for? Here are a few key traits to seek:
1. Your partner should understand people.
If your people are key to success, you need a partner that will take the time to learn who they are and what they need.
2. Your partner should meet you where you are.
OCM plans should never be one size fits all, and a good partner won’t come in and ask you to conform to their ideas of how things should be. Instead, they’ll take the time to understand you and your needs to develop a plan that works for your organization.
3. Your partner should be in it for the long haul.
From the initial organizational assessment to ongoing change reinforcement, your partner should be ready to roll up their sleeves, dig in, and stay by your side throughout the whole process.
Does that sound like a partner you’d like to work with? Then we might know just the people for you.
We help organizations implement and manage through change. Learn more.