*Infographic inspired by Braden Kelley's Five Keys to Successful Change and reproduced with permission
By Catherine Adenle
Recently I came across Braden Kelley’s Five Keys to Successful Change as part of a sneak preview of his upcoming new book, Charting Change (Feb 2016). I found it compelling, and wanted to share it with you and expand upon it further with some of my own thoughts.
For successful change implementation in organizations, there are 4 main components serving as pillars holding up the change. These pillars are various distinct phases of change – planning, leadership, management and maintenance of change.
Treating change as a process should be a central factor of change and its management in all organizations. By breaking change down into these distinct phases (planning, leadership, management and maintenance), organizations can create roles and responsibilities, customize and tailor approach to change to ensure that employees successfully adopt change.
Change Ready Organizations Survive
Today’s business landscape is Darwinian! In these times of economic volatility, competitors are moving at lightning speed. They are agile and highly innovative. Their products and services get quickly upgraded, changed or even eliminated through constant continuous improvement initiatives.
Those organizations that identify new opportunities and take quick actions to capture them are the ones surviving. Those who learn to make successful change implementation happen are doing it over and over and they are thriving. In other words, organizations must learn how to change and treat these 4 key change components as their number one mission-critical discipline for change. The winners and losers of today’s global competition are determined by one common factor and that factor is Change.
The most successful organizations and leaders are not fearful about making changes because they are always change ready. They have the skills as well as these main components required to drive and execute any successful change. It’s known that successful change implementation only happens through possessing change management skills and the rudimentary know-how of change implementation. These two things in organizations increase the likelihood of quick innovation and transition success rate by up to 49%.
A change ready organization embraces these cultural norms and displays these characteristics:
These 4 main components of change as highlighted on the Infographic above are critical to organizations given that a poorly executed change initiative can greatly damage organizations’ good intentions. A failed change effort will make employees confused, unhappy and doubtful of future change initiatives. Most of all, change initiatives that are poorly executed can drive stress which can decrease employees’ performance by about 12%.
4 Components of Successful Change Implementation in Organizations
Having a plan for change in organizations should mean realigning some employees’ job roles and responsibilities in order to make change initiative successful.
For a major change initiative, individuals who are responsible for change execution must not keep doing everything they were doing before and then expected to simply add or pile on the new change initiative work and responsibilities on top of their already overwhelming list of things to do daily at work.
One of the reasons why so many change initiatives fail is that leaders keep adding more work on the plates of employees’ in charge of change. They also add more work to their own plates, but forget to focus more on the change at hand. However, in order for successful change implementation to happen, organizations need to create the space, roles, responsibilities, resources and capacity for change to occur and stick.
For successful change implementation in organizations, these are 4 vital inter-related components:
Identifying and indicating ‘who will do what,’ ‘how,’ and ‘by when’ before embarking on change will ensure that change is successfully implemented.
Successful Change Implementation in Organizations: Roles and Responsibilities
To embark on any successful change implementation, change should not just begin with projects and initiatives. Change may happen as a result of continuous improvement projects or initiatives, but change implementation must not start via a project. Otherwise change message will be lost and people will forget that change does not happen instantaneously.
Change is a process and should be treated so. The easiest and most rudimentary approach to understanding change is to break it down into different, understandable elements following three states of change. These are: the current state, the transition state and the future state.
1. Change Planning – This is where the roadmap of change is put together. The individuals here don’t live in the future state, they plough the way to get there. For successful change implementation, whoever is in charge of this phase of change plans, creates and explains the roadmap of change, its objectives, goals and success measurement.
As most change management challenges are tied to the current state, for this phase, knowledge of what is currently happening is required. There will be a collection of processes, behaviors, tools, technologies, organizational structures, responsibilities and job roles that establishes how work is currently done. The current state defines what an organization does and how. Things may not be working well for now for the organization, but things are familiar and comfortable for its employees because they know what to expect daily. Anyone responsible for change planning does not jump into the future state without painting a pictures of how to get there through change. They aim to move everyone to the future state and they work closely with leaders to craft the roadmap for successful change implementation.
4. Change Maintenance – This phase ensures that change remains a priority. This is where the reinforcement and maintenance of change happens until it is measured, declared successful, transferred and embedded. Once an organization sees that change is happening as planned, this phase takes care of its maintenance.
Here change is evaluated through these following questions:
This phase is where lessons learned are captured to understand what might be done on future change initiatives to ensure they are more successful. When change initiatives are successful, people are more apt to adapt to change more easily in future. They are confident in the change process in the organization overall.
Via the answers to the questions above, an organization then develops a plan to maintain the change. They also have a plan in place to evaluate the change regularly; they monitor and continue to strengthen change. This might be on a 3 or 6 months basis. However, as with any process within an organization, regular evaluation is essential to ensure the process still meets the needs of the organization.
Now that you have explored the 4 key components of successful change implementation in organizations, what else can you add? Leave your comments below.