There are no silver bullets in change management (VIDEO)
There are no silver bullets
There are no silver bullets. Driving change is hard. Making it “part of the fabric” (just the way work gets done) of operations is even harder.
Let me debunk a few of what I consider to be several myths associated with change management.
First, technology implementation does not result in transformational change. Yes, if done correctly, it does provide new tools. But, by itself, it doesn’t change how work gets done, how decisions get made, etc. In fact, research has shown that, in hindsight, leaders of technology implementations that were supposed to result in transformation wished that they had done more work around change management. They won’t make this same mistake twice – learn from them!
Second, effective change management is more than communications and training. Yes, both of these disciplines are needed, but they should be thought of only as components of change management – they don’t equate to it. Other change techniques are often harder to do and more effective.
Third, change management is not something that consultants can just “do” for clients. Isn’t this a shocking statement for a career consultant to make? Consultants can do things like help establish change strategy, develop role descriptions, build communications and develop training, but the most effective change management teams are those that are comprised of both clients and consultants. Client team members add value to the change team by knowing how to get things done throughout the organization, delivering messages, etc.
Following their go-live, I worked with a client that had implemented a substantial piece of technology. It was taking their staff much longer to get things done, and while they knew this was because of the technology (which, in fact, was implemented well), they didn’t know what was wrong so they couldn’t figure out how to fix the situation. It turned out that they had focused exclusively on the technology implementation and did not invest any energy into things like process redesign, role redefinition, re-skilling and organizational redesign – all of which change management addresses and all of which should have been completed during implementation of the technology.
Let me know what you think, and if there are any specific topics you’d like me to address please comment or drop me a line.