There are many approaches to Change Management…
RiverRhee Consulting Associates have been busy writing publications and running courses in Change Management recently, so we thought it was time we shared some of our key themes for this topic with readers of this newsletter. Before we do so, here’s a quick summary of what we’ve been doing and are planning to do around Change Management.
Lucy Loh and Elisabeth Goodman released the 5th and last in our series of blogs on Change Management, based on our article with Business Information Review1. Our most popular blog has been “Recognising reactions to change and responding to them” with its focus on the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross change curve. And our last blog tying in Dilts Logical Levels of Change and Lean and Six Sigma is also proving popular.
Elisabeth ran a course with Shaida Dorabjee of SD Information Services for UKeIG exploring common themes in marketing and change management and helping delegates apply the associated principles and tools to their own case studies. These common themes are the basis for this bi-monthly newsletter.
(Elisabeth also has a further course planned with Aslib in London on the 28th June – Change Management for Success.)
Key theme for Change Management number 1: Clarify the strategic context
Being clear about the strategic context for change will give weight to individual (hopefully related) initiatives and help those involved in driving the change have a better understanding of the climate in which they are working.
Identify the ‘burning platform’
The changes we are introducing may not always have the stark alternative choices faced by the Piper Alpha worker on a burning platform high above the North Sea, but thinking in these terms can be a useful prompt for Change Agents and Sponsors to seriously consider what really is the impetus for change. It usually comes down to quality (for customers), cost (for the organisation), time or productivity (for those involved), safety or legal imperatives. A change couched in these terms will carry a much more powerful message than one that just sounds like ‘a good idea’.
Key theme for Change Management number 2: Analyse your stakeholders
Identifying your different stakeholder groups and carrying out a gap analysis on their current mindsets, how you want them to think, feel and behave differently, and how you might get them there is tricky but very effective. Delegates on our courses often realize that they have some work to do in the form of 2-way dialogues with their stakeholders to gain this level of understanding. There’s lots more to understanding and influencing stakeholders and Elisabeth’s summary of ‘Influencer’ and Lucy’s insights on Dilt’s Logical Levels of Change give more pointers on this.
Change is a personal journey
This is where studying the change curve, and realizing that each person will be at a different point, at a different time can prove so helpful. Added to this is the realization that resistance is a ‘good thing’: it’s an indication that people are aware of the change and are engaging with it. Again, the more we can initiate 2-way conversations with those affected by the change to hear and respond to their resistance in a positive way, the better.
Key theme for Change Management number 3: Implementation comes last!
People often begin with what communication approach to use, when starting by clarifying strategic drivers, and analyzing stakeholders are better guarantees of successful implementation. Once the first two steps have been addressed, implementation requires a well-defined and carefully executed tactical plan.
Integrate your planning with the strategic context and the stakeholder analysis
Having done all the earlier analysis, a good implementation plan will relate any communication, training or support approaches used for the change, to individual stakeholder groups and the appropriate key messages to be delivered. A good plan will also have measures for monitoring its effectiveness, and enabling corrective or new supportive actions as the plan progresses.
There’s obviously a lot more to Change Management, but hopefully this short-list will be a useful introduction or refresher, and it may prompt you to read more on Elisabeth Goodman’s blog site.
[Note – if you liked this summary you may also be interested in purchasing a copy of The Effective Team’s Change Management Workbook – available from RiverRhee Publishing at £10.00 plus packaging and posting.]
We’ve also been busy in some of our other areas of expertise: Knowledge Management and Lean and Six Sigma…
Definite highlights have been the two taster sessions John Riddell and Elisabeth Goodman ran in Cambridge in March.
The first “An introduction to Lean and Six Sigma” with Cambridge Network’s Learning Collaboration (LC) has led to plans for delivering an in-house workshop for one of the delegates’ organisations, and an agreement to run an off-site introductory course through LC in Cambridge on 26th June.
Our second taster, “Smart Working or Engineered Serendipity? Knowledge Management in practice”, was delivered at Granta Park through One Nucleus, as a closing event for Cambridge Awards Week. Footage from the workshop forms the basis of our new business video about RiverRhee Consulting!
John and Elisabeth also wrote up a Web Briefing on Lessons Learned for the APM (Association for Project Management). We are now preparing for our Knowledge Management in Business Process Excellence workshop with IQPC on 25th April in London.
We are also beginning to work on our new book with Gower “Knowledge Management in the Pharmaceutical Industry: Enhancing Research, Development and Manufacturing Performance”. We’ll be getting in touch with people we know who might like to share case studies, perspectives and insights on this theme in return for a mention in the list of contributors. If you would like to contribute, do let us know.
[1Elisabeth Goodman and Lucy Loh. Organizational change: A critical challenge for team effectiveness. Business Information Review, 28(4) 242-250, December 2011.]
To find out more about RiverRhee Consulting, our range of off-site and in-house courses, and how we can help you to “enhance team effectiveness” see the RiverRhee Consulting website or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.