Organizational Change Management is All About People Readiness

Professionals have described the term “Change Management” as being vague and confusing.  I have even had clients refer to the term as “completely baffling” since it does not specify whom, nor what we are trying to change, let alone manage.

I find that throwing in the descriptive term “People Readiness” to be helpful since it suggests preparing the workforce for successfully crafting and implementing a project.  You are making sure people are ready for a technology roll out (such as SAP), a new process (such as lean manufacturing) or an employee initiative (such as team building).  Regardless of what is being rolled out, the focus of People Readiness is making sure that your human capital can successfully navigate through a change, leading to organizational performance.

Why is it important for us to have a clear understanding of the term “Change Management?”  If we do not grasp this concept, we are more likely to ignore this critical aspect of successful project execution.  In pushing ahead without preparing people, we miss out on significant positives:

  • Rally your entire team to work together – Build employee understanding and support for your project across the organization by ensuring that the workforce is prepared and feel involved and supported.
  • Optimize the benefits of the project – Receive the highest return-on-investment from your project as a result of your people operating at full capacity (Operating on “all cylinders”, so to speak).
  • Reduce the risks of going off course – Avoid projects running off-course with all sorts of negative, unintended results since your human capital is focused on the change at hand. This helps with employee motivation, resulting in organizational performance.

The term “Change Management” is used much more frequently than alternative monikers, such as “People Readiness”, in the blogosphere.  As a result, perhaps we should stick with the term “Change Management”.  However, let’s more fully explain this term by always “humming a few more bars” for our organizations so that they comprehend the power of People Readiness.

What terms do you use for Change Management?  How do you get your organization to understand it?

Note:The views expressed in this blog are my opinions and do not in any way reflect the views of my employer.

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A Formula for Organizational Performance So Simple That It Is Ignored

Formula_500_F_13443858_RNR2YnK5y3GRqqtJp79hXtmx1WQSO9ufThe Obama Administration is promoting legislation that would help many students go to community college for free.  This is an effort to once again kick-start education as a driver of economic growth. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/21/nyregion/raising-ambitions-the-challenge-in-teaching-at-community-colleges.html?_r=0

As a former community college administrator and instructor, my burning questions are ‘Why community colleges?’ and “If they have figured out the ‘secret sauce’ for performance, how can we all get some?”

In short, community colleges are masters at change management.  I saw first-hand hundreds of students of all ages enter community college ill prepared for work, and in many cases struggling in their day-to-day lives, and leave the college changed people.  Ready to perform!  Community colleges understand this simple formula that all organizations could learn from:

  • Input: Students enter who are in many cases underprepared and lack the motivation required for success.
  • Process: Faculty connect students to ideas and goals bigger than themselves and instill the skills and habits of thinking.
  • Output: The students leave more prepared to successfully navigate the world of work (and the world in general) and are energized (in some cases, even transformed!)

Substitute the word ‘Employees’ for ‘Students’ and the word ‘Leadership” for ‘Faculty’ and you have the change readiness and adoption ‘secret sauce’ for any audacious goal that you may throw at your workforce.

This suggests that success is all about connecting your workforce to the objective at hand: Be it a new strategy, the roll out of a new technology, etc.  Bam, you have motivation!  Then, help make sure that the employees have the requisite knowledge and capabilities.  Bam, you have performance!

This formula for success, which the community colleges figured out years ago, could not be more easy to comprehend!

  • Why then do our organizations run off into countless directions, many of them pointless, trying to discover the formula for high performance?
  • Is the answer simply, so simple that we do not believe it?

 

Note:The views expressed in this blog are my opinions and do not in any way reflect the views of my employer.

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