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Change the World – Step Two

Change the World - Step TwoAre you and your organization ready for change?

Too often organizations define the change effort they want to pursue without first identifying whether there are people, resources, legislation, etc. present that must be in place before the change effort can begin. We will explore the circumstances you may want to explore before beginning any change effort and the areas to explore as potential prerequisites to the change program and its eventual success.

During the course of any change initiative many different challenges will appear, and the most successful change efforts will anticipate those challenges and have a plan for dealing with them. Part of that anticipation begins with identifying how ready the organization is for change and understanding what some of the top challenges are.

In a 2008 global CEO study conducted by IBM on the enterprise of the future, IBM identified the top challenges to successfully implementing strategic change as:

  1. Changing mindsets and attitudes (58%)
  2. Corporate culture (49%)
  3. Underestimation of complexity (35%)
  4. Shortage of resources (33%)
  5. Lack of higher management commitment (32%)
  6. Lack of change know-how (20%)
  7. Lack of motivation of involved employees (16%)

You will notice that many of the items on this list are more about the people factors of change rather than the process or technology factors of change. The weight of the human dimensions of change is reflected in my PCC Change Readiness Framework™. This framework focuses on the psychology of key groups surrounding the identified change, the capabilities needed to successfully execute the change, and the organization’s capacity to tackle this change effort (along with everything else).

PCC Change Readiness Framework

You will notice that I don’t speak about organizational psychology or culture in my PCC Change Readiness Framework™. The reason I don’t highlight culture in the same way that many other people do is that in today’s more social, customer-centric business, we must look more broadly than the typical inward focus of company culture when it comes to identifying the readiness of not only employees, but leaders, customers, and partners too. Inevitably many of our change efforts will have some impact on one or more external groups (possibly even non-profit entities and one or more governments).

You will notice that within the PSYCHOLOGY box there is a common focus on the mindsets, attitudes, beliefs and expectations of the individuals. Culture is incorporated into the psychology realm by focusing on what the shared understandings are around the potential change, but more broadly too. And, finally you will notice that my PCC Change Readiness Framework™ highlights the need for successful change efforts to move towards gaining commitment to the change from leadership, acceptance of the change by employees, and a desire for the change from customers and partners.

Within the CAPABILITY box of my PCC Change Readiness Framework™ we must investigate whether our change effort has any regulatory or statutory implications and whether we are ready to adapt, adopt or influence the changes necessary in this sphere. We must also ask ourselves a series of questions:

  1. “Do we need to get permission from anyone to do this?”
  2. “What knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for this change do we already possess?”
  3. “What knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for this change do we need to acquire?”
  4. “What relationships do we possess that will be useful in advancing the change?”
  5. “What relationships do we need to build to help advance the change?”
  6. “What are the enablers of making this change successful?”

Within the CAPACITY box we have to look at where our resources are approaching, or have already achieved, change saturation. This means they are unable to productively participate in any more change efforts or adopt any more change. But we also have to look at the availability of our resources:

  1. Human
  2. Financial
  3. Physical
  4. Information
  5. Executive Sponsors
  6. Space in our desired communication channels

It is easy to take for granted that the organization will have the capacity to undertake your change effort, but often there are capacity constraints that you will run into, especially as the pace and volume of change increases inside an organization. The one that is easiest to overlook and fail to plan for, is making sure that you’re going to be able to communicate your change messages in your desired messaging channels (they may already be full).

In my upcoming collaborative, visual Change Planning Toolkit™ you will find the companion tools for the PCC Change Readiness Framework™, two large format change readiness worksheets to download for printing that will help you collaboratively explore all of these topics and more.

Be sure and sign up for the Braden Kelley Monthly newsletter to receive the latest news on my new book on the best practices and next practices of organizational change (January 2016) and the licensing options for the Change Planning Toolkit™.

Finally, when you consider all of the potential stumbling blocks in advance of the change that we highlighted above, evaluate your readiness in each area, and make a plan for closing any gaps (before you even begin your change effort), you will greatly increase the chances of its success. But, there are certain items that are not just good to know in advance, but are actually prerequisites for change, and we will explore that topic in the book, so stay tuned!

P.S. In case you missed it, click to read Change the World – Step One

Change the World – Step One

Change the World - Step OneDo you want to change the world?

Even just one tiny corner of your own world?

Change often feels overwhelming, scary even, and frequently we don’t know where to begin.

Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire focused on helping organizations identify and remove barriers to innovation, and has also served as a great innovation primer for innovation practitioners all over the world.

As people choose and commit to going down the innovation path in a measured way, one of the first things they discover is that many things will have to change inside the organization and in how the entity engages with others outside the organization for their new product or service ideas to successfully walk the transitional path from insight to idea to experiment to implementation project to market offering and market success.

Because of this, my next book and most of my future articles here on Innovation Excellence in the run up to the release of my Change Planning Toolkit™ will be focused on helping people build a strong foundation for achieving successful organizational change. This series of articles will culminate with the launch of a new book from Palgrave Macmillan in January 2016 on the best practices and next practices of organizational change and an introduction to my Change Planning Toolkit™.

So, if we’re hoping to change the world, our world, whether that is with a big W or a little one, where should we begin?

Let’s begin by painting a background for the landscape of organizational change.

Four Keys to Successful Change

Above you’ll see a visualization of the Four Keys to Successful Change. Leave one out and eventually your change effort, no matter how big or small, will eventually fail. If you’re setting setting out to change the world, even a small corner of it, then you’ll want to be sure to consider each of the four keys and make sure that you proceed in a measured way that takes each into account.

Let’s look at each briefly in turn before we look at each area in more detail in future posts, and eventually in the book in January 2016.

The Four Keys to Successful Change

1. Change Planning

Change Planning is the first key to successful organizational change, and it focuses on drawing out the key issues of the necessary change and puts some structure and timeline around them. You will find you have a better experience and a more successful outcome if you use a more visual, collaborative method using something like the Change Planning Toolkit™ I will be releasing soon to help you create the necessary change plans, goals, metrics, etc.

2. Change Leadership

Change Leadership is the second key to successful organizational change, and is important because good change leadership provides the sponsorship, support and oversight necessary for the change activities to receive the visibility, care, and attention they need to overcome inertia and maintain momentum throughout the process of transformation.

3. Change Management

Change Management represents the third key to successful organizational change, and it is probably the one most people think of when they think about organizational change because it focuses on managing the change activities necessary to achieve the change objectives. The term itself has some challenges however as the term also refers to the management of code changes during the software development process and its relationship with project management is confused. We will dig more into the relationship between project management and change management in a future article.

4. Change Maintenance

Change Maintenance represents the fourth and probably most neglected key to successful organizational change. Many change leaders lose interest after the major launch milestones are achieved, and this is a real risk to sustained success of the change effort. During the change maintenance phase is when you measure the outcomes of the planned change activities and reinforce the change, to make sure the change effort has met the change objectives and when you ensure that the behavior change becomes a permanent one. Neglect this phase and people often slip back into their old, well worn patterns of behavior.

Conclusion

This is the first article in a series to help make changing the world seem a little less overwhelming, a little less scary. I hope you have found the article and the framework a useful first building block as we work together to build a strong foundation for successful organizational change. To be alerted when the Change Planning Toolkit™ becomes available, please be sure and click the link below to join the mailing list, and stay tuned for the next article in this series!

Sign up for updates on the Change Planning Toolkit™ (Stikkee Change Insiders)

Innovation Starts Here

Image credit: Youthventure.org

Most Companies Suck at Innovation Because…

Most Companies Suck at Innovation Because

Most companies suck at innovation because they suck at change.

There you go, there is the entire article in a single sentence. Please click the like button or leave a comment on your way out, and I’ll turn out the lights.

I’m actually serious, but I didn’t come to this single sentence overnight, but through decades of research and experience. It coalesced however this morning in an interview with Chad McAllister that will air next month.

This sentence also highlights the reason why after writing the popular Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire (a book about innovation) and traveling the world delivering innovation keynotes and workshops, that my next book for Palgrave Macmillan (@PalgraveBiz) will be about change, not innovation.

Because after all, my life’s work is to help others change the world for the better by creating and sharing valuable tools and insights that hopefully serve to accelerate innovation and change in communities around the world.

I will continue on to say though that if you want to be successful at innovation you need to get better at planning, leading, managing, and maintaining change.

If you doubt the linkage, please check out my other article Managing Innovation is About Managing Change. This will give you a great example of how innovation inflicts change on the organization.

And if you’d like to learn more about making your organization more change capable, then I encourage you to check out my article Change the World – Step One, which is the first in a series of articles I will be publishing here in the run up to the launch of my book in January 2016 to help organizations build a stronger, more sustainable approach to change. This first article outlines the Four Keys to Successful Change, with much more content and a whole Change Planning Toolkit™ being released over the next few months.