Why is Change Management a Dark Art?
Traditional Approaches to change management, focus on managing a "process" to implement a mandated change and winning people over to that change through communication.
They do not assess the business holistically to understand what drives and reinforces behaviour of the people within the system. This means when the change is finished the old behaviours return as the business itself encourages them to return.
This is why so many change projects fail, often after the project has been declared a success by management and the new IT system for example has been delivered.
Why does this occur? Change Models are often based around particular function and can not be applied outside of the classroom as they lack a level of detail around practical implementation and real world scenarios.
Thus the traditional approach has been to focus on communicating a change that is occurring and bringing people onboard, rather than focusing on what will make the change successful and enduring. When the change fails the people are often blamed, or the new IT system is seen as deficient, not the change process itself.
We wanted to focus on the delivery of successful, sustainable and enduring change. This meant we needed to develop an approach based around changing, enforcing and reinforcing behaviour.
For example why is a new IT system not being used after being deliver 6 month previously? An organisation culture is driven by the behaviour of humans within it, and behaviour is driven by a number of influences across the whole business system. People within the system stop using an IT system because the behaviour is not reinforced by the business itself - not usually because there is a problem with the IT system.
Our approach focuses on changing behaviours and enforcing and reinforcing behaviours through integrated and synchronised change across the whole business, until they become the cultural norm. We are focused on sustaining change in a pragmatic and practical way, rather than implementing a theoretical model and associated change process.
There are five parts to any Muru change project. These can be conducted sequentially or independently by us or by the client.
- Initial assessment - we assess your business against each element of the model to understand the gaps and improvements required to deliver a successful outcome that is sustainable and enduring. For example are there deficiencies in the governance function that will result in new processes and supporting IT systems not being used. We use various tools to assess each element of the model.
- Change Management Plan - we then develop an integrated project plan with detailed synchronised schedule. This ensures our clients understand what needs to be done, by who, when and why (expected benefit). The impact of not resourcing an activity can be understood and accepted by the client - we are not change zealots. Not all the changes across the model need to be implemented a 60% solution may be good enough. As organisational maturity and performance improves the remaining improvements can be undertaken.
- Change Implementation - we work with our clients to manage successful implementation. This may mean providing project staff, function and psychological experts etc or purely training, mentoring and guiding an internal project team.
- Follow on assessment - once a change is complete we recommend that a client assesses themselves annually. Has the change held, is improvement required, are expected benefits being realised, are there any unforeseen consequences etc.
- Improvement - Change is not static, change is constant and any change program needs to be agile and evolving and integrated into your business management system.
If you want to know more please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org