Organizational Change Management – More than Consulting Speak

In today’s dynamic and challenging business environment, companies are facing many challenges. Among them: tight budgets, more stringent regulations, reductions in work force, increasing competition, shareholders who expect better results, more demanding customers, etc. Organizations are under extreme pressure to deliver measurable business value from each investment. All of these have one thing in common. They point to a basic business imperative: improve workforce productivity. This entails more than just “working harder” and increasing throughput. Such productivity is the result of many complex, interrelated factors ranging from processes to technology, to culture, etc, all of which must be addressed in an integration fashion. It’s obtained via major transformational efforts: a change in the way they do business.

How can the changes that such projects bring to the organization be effectively and efficiently managed? Organizations are realizing that they need to improve their ability to adapt to continuous change without caving into the pressure of new ways of working or disrupting their ongoing business operations.

This is not an easy task! Many improvement efforts go south because organizations don’t apply fundamental change management principles. They don’t communicate effectively with their employees and key leadership team; they don’t ensure that employees understand the impact they have on the organization’s performance; they don’t align their workforces with strategic priorities; they don’t develop change plans that will provide guidance to the workforce as they journey to the new way of working.

Acquity Group can help, and we’re noticing an increased interest in this area. Our integrated change management approach focuses on the following five key areas at both program and project levels:

Communication: Clear and informative communication is critical during periods of change. It should provide employees with all of the information that is necessary to ease the transition from current to future state.
Training: End users must be able to perform their day to day tasks. The quality of training and support directly affects the extent to which users will accept a new tool or process and will be able to use it properly.

Leadership & Stakeholder Commitment: Leadership requires actively leading the transition by not only driving the behavior of the organization, but also providing direction and defining the vision for success. Leaders will need to guide their teams through the individual and organizational transitions.

Performance Management: Once programs are in place and the change is accepted by targets, it is critical to set up a process and accountability to ensure the change is sustained over time. Effective information, process & tools, and incentives improve human performance often by 70%.

Knowledge Management: A key component enabling the long-term success of a change initiative is the effective knowledge transition of project information to designated personnel by the conclusion of the project. This ensures that team members can adequately conduct the responsibilities required to maintain a solution. Knowledge Management is the set of professional practices which improves the capabilities of the organization’s resources and enhances their ability to share what they know.

Investing in effective change management pays off. Studies show that organizations that effectively practice and accept Organizational Change Management as a business discipline on average, received 143% of expected returns. That’s more than just consulting speak.

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