“It’s fascinating how people love to talk about why change initiatives fail. Why do they succeed? Would seem to me to be a more positive and helpful debate. So what are the ingredients for success?”
Below is the answer I posted :
Steve’s Top Ten Reasons Change Initiatives SUCCEED:
- Aligned Clarity of the Future State
- Definition of the OCM Work
- Committed Change Agent Resources
- Follow-Through on the OCM Work
- Involvement of Stakeholders
- Fact-Based Communication Dialogue
- Adjustment Based on Feedback
- Focus on Day-1 Stakeholder Readiness
- Transition to Support the Future State
- Sponsors Who Lead, Follow AND Get Out of the Way
Unlike many OCM practitioners, I put the Sponsor factor last… More on that later. First, let’s focus on the number 1 factor the leads to successful change: Alignment.
Reason #1: Aligned Clarity of the Future State
It’s important to get everyone on the same page early in the process whether your change involves acquiring a rival or moving the employee insurance plan to a new provider.
In an earlier post I outlined 5 key questions that can help you drive for this clarity. In addition, consider defining these elements before you start throwing resources and time at your change:
- What’s changing? Is it a complete overhaul of something or an adjustment?
- What’s not changing – or only slightly?
- Why are we doing this? What’s the rationale?
- Why now? What’s the benefit we’ll gain or the risk we’ll mitigate?
- Who’s impacted? Everyone or just some people? What individuals, locations, divisions or groups are most impacted?
- Who’s immune to this?
- When is it going to happen? Is it one big event or a series of steps that result in some final condition?
- What do people need to do to prepare?
- What questions are still left to be worked out?
- Where can we go for more information?
Follow Up on Alignment:
Your answers to these basic questions will provide the initial backdrop for the change and they can lead to more detailed stuff like a defined Mission & Vision or a set of clear Goals and measurable Objectives.
I know some of this stuff sounds like common sense, but you would be SHOCKED at how many companies simply don’t take the time to do this simple exercise before plunging into major change initiatives. Later in the process, stakeholders will typically ask these questions anyway, so why not figure out the answers up front?
Next time I’ll get into the second factor that leads to successful change:Defining the Org Change work. Pop a comment to me below and I will see you next time!
Questions for Chatter:
- What happens if a team forgets to answer these simple questions early in a change initiative?
- What other questions do you think should be added to this list?
- Do you agree with my list of 10 success factors? What if anything would you add or subtract?
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