Most organizations have a range of internal change consultants, typically found in different departments, such as project management, organization development, change management, quality, process improvement, LEAN and Six Sigma, and IT. These consultants all add value to the change process, but not at the same time and not in the same way. None of them oversees the entire change process from A to Z, so there is an absence of strategic oversight to what all changes need across the organization. Inevitably, value is left on the table.
Do you have too much change happening in your organization? Is there too little meaningful oversight and capacity to handle it all well? Are your leaders living in their own siloed worlds and failing to consider the broader organizational repercussions of their change projects? Do you wish you had a sane way to get on top of it all and align your leaders to do what is best for the organization as a whole?
Now you have a way: the Enterprise Change Agenda. This is the most important change leadership system and process you can build into your organization at the top. With all the change happening in organizations today the Enterprise Change Agenda gives CEOs a clear and organized mechanism to get their arms around it all and lead it effectively. It is a key strategy for ensuring the organizational alignment of change.
“Take another trip around the hamster wheel!” This quote is how my client fondly referred to our project and the Change Leader’s Roadmap™ (CLR) methodology that is guiding my work, after we had created a second phase implementation plan for his company.
Virtually all core functions in organizations are operated as strategic disciplines (e.g., finance, supply chain, marketing and sales, human resources, IT). This means they have consistent practices and protocols, common ways of making decisions and managing information. These disciplines are crucial to having the business function optimally, and reliably, to be able to deliver results.
Leaders of change initiatives often use strategies for change that announce, mandate, threaten, pressure, or expect people to change because the leaders say so. As a strategy to motivate employees, this does not work, people will likely resist or rebel. Or they may make it look like they are going along and then revert to their old ways. Outside-in change strategies, such as executive mandates, top-down communications, or forcefully imposing new practices cause resistance, fear, and anxiety for people. These conditions do not leave people wanting to change or able to change effectively.
Change initiatives need the same clear and thoughtful governance as your organization’s operations. It may seem obvious that establishing change governance is important for a change initiative to be successful, but planning for it is often skipped in the rush to get started. Leaders may press for a plan of action that does not include effective governance to get a solution designed and deployed as quickly as possible. This is faulty thinking! Effective governance must be created from the very beginning to enable speed, efficiency, and effectiveness in designing and executing change.
After more than three decades of supporting executives in organizations undergoing transformational change, we are in a unique position to recognize common mistakes in how change is being led across industries. Many of our clients ask how we can so readily name the challenging dynamics they face without having worked inside their organizations. The answer is, these are common mistakes, and they are not unique to any one organization.
Photo Credit: Rich Faber
The absence of an overall initiative alignment and integration strategy results in change being run through multiple, separate, or competing sub-projects. It also results in initiatives being led as independent efforts, even when many may interface or impact one another or the same parts of the organization.This demonstrates a lack of sufficient alignment and integration among all the changes required for an overall change program. Without it, leading transformational change can be more like herding cats. What is needed is making them all a part of one unified effort with an overall change strategy that integrates outcomes, plans, resources, and pace.
No business leader worth their salt would run their business without a solid business strategy. In today’s dynamic marketplace, executing those business strategies often requires change, frequently massive transformational change.