Pitfalls and considerations
“The only constant in life is change.”- Heraclitus
Companies and organizations are constantly subjected to change, either by choice or involuntarily. Even organizations working with the fundamentals of physics and absolute values recently went through an extensive change, where measurements where changed from archaic objects to universal constants.
How does your organization deal with changes, and what are some pitfalls and considerations that you must take into account?
Are you required to do a developmental change by improving existing ways of working, a transitional change by switching course to a completely new goal, or are you charting an unknown path with a transformational change?
Why are you changing?
Starting a change simply as a reaction to an external event, or by observing what others are doing, inherently means that the landscape is playing a game of Simon Says where the initiator will set the agenda and come out on top.
Keeping closer tabs on both the market and innovation within the company will allow you to take the position at the front of the pack by shortening reaction times and generating value, but at the risk of making a wrong decision.
Consider what causes the need or desire to change, and if it's for the right reasons where you can still keep your identity and unique selling point.
Does your vision apply to everyone?
As your plans start to form and the path is getting staked out on a high level you must realize that the vision must be broken down into smaller chunks to allow it to be applicable to each individual.
It isn't possible to account for every detail in the vision, so it's of utmost importance that the vision is crystal clear so that each and every one can act in accordance and with the same intent.
Allow people to create their own tasks and follow up on deviations, but be prepared to also embrace changes and opportunities that are discovered along the way that weren't part of the original vision.
Is change part of your culture?
If people are expected to embrace change, you must be a role model and be actively involved working proactively to make change happen.
Reward and recognize people implementing change continuously, and avoid settling into roles or stereotypes and instead utilize people's strengths.
Dedicate time and resources necessary for people to leave current ways of working, and allow for exploration and learn from mistakes.
What are your barriers?
Processes tend to be designed to streamline current practices. Processes that aren't inherently designed to allow for change will course correct any initiatives back to the old ways.
There might be other external factors or internal systems that act as hurdles for change, which make it important to have strong allies with mandate to remove all obstacles as they arise. Continuously monitoring for structural issues and re-evaluating existing ways of working is key to identifying and eliminating barriers for change.
How to create commitment?
Create commitment by open communication but realize that people respond differently to broad or individual messaging.
Where some may want to be involved in HOW change is implemented, others focus on WHAT the change delivers.
Avoid seeing difficulties in change and spending effort on convincing detractors. Focus attention on the people making change happen.
Practice makes perfect
In summary, where we all must adapt to change, some adopt it.
Everything from defining our reason and vision, surrounding us with allies, enabling action, and instituting change as a concept has considerations and trade-offs. As organizations explore and learn the mindset, the quicker change will happen.
Practice makes perfect, but if you want a head start contact Great IT.