It’s Time for A Change – Part II, Committing To It

It’s Time for A Change – Part II, Committing To It
Monday, November 26th, 2012 Scott Bossart

                In the previous segment, I discussed the challenge to actually realizing the benefit of making a change to the organization either in process or function.  Realizing how a change to one or more routine processes even though it will result in a positive direction, to the business can be a hard sell to the organization.  Along the same thought process, applying a change to one or more functional structures can also drive positive changes to the organization.  Ultimately the key to maximum effectiveness of change is timing but determining when timing is appropriate can be tricky.  In either case, the next steps are identification, communication, and implementation of the impending changes.

                Often times, in many organizations, the thought process of change identification is simply of how we continue to do what we are currently doing but do it better.  In some cases, a small change to what is currently being done can provide some level of effective positive impact to the organization.  Often times, however, business leaders find the issue is with what they are actually doing and therefore becomes the target for change.  Don’t get me wrong, not every identified change needs to be a complete revamp of current processes or functional organization but often times that is what is required.  Once presented with an option to change, the first hurdle to overcome is opening up the mindset to allow for a directional theory change.  This falls into that comfort zone ideology.  The initial goal and challenge is to de-program that thought process of “This is the way we always do it” logic.  This alone can be hard to overcome but is paramount to successful change management.  There cannot be a successful implementation without having a full understanding of what is being changed and the steps required to execute.  As I have said often in earlier writings, communication to the work force is a very important step and cannot be underestimated.

It is common for associates who have been performing in a certain manor, or using a specific process, to be ingrained in that process.  The mindset with them when confronted by a change in that process or function is not necessarily with an open mind and admittance to the fact any form of change is needed and it is a good thing.  The first communications need to be delivered in a concise and clear fashion that reflects a clear distinction between current and future processes.  This can be a difficult task to achieve and should not be delivered in a tone which could cause the associates to become defensive.  If measures are being monitored and communicated, objective goals can be communicated giving the associates a sense of the new direction the organization is expected to achieve.  If there does not exist formal measures or goals, setting them is one important execution step.  Every change made must be value added and have a specific impact to the overall direction.  It is important to understand that “Just because” is not a good reason.  The process supporting any change must be developed before implementation of the change.  Functional changes need to be vetted thoroughly and demonstrate working smarter as opposed to harder.  If functional changes to duties or responsibilities create increased work load to an already taxed work force, it probably is not a good idea.

In any case, when it comes to initiating any form of change in an organization, developing a mindset that will facilitate a successful change agent, can be difficult.  The more detailed the information known, understood, communicated, and presented will determine the level of difficulty during implementation.  The facts and measures surrounding results after the change need to support the process being utilized for the change itself.  It isn’t a matter of begging or pleading for buy –in to what is being targeted for change.  It is a matter of displaying the confidence and examples of the overall impact to the organization which will demonstrate to the staff and associates how the change is for the betterment of the business as a whole.  Again, it should result in a smarter way of operating and not simply an increased work load on an already over-taxed environment.

Stay Well

Scott B.


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