Want To Swim With The Big Fish?

April 7, 2014

Want To Swim With The Big Fish?

How often have you started to implement a change strategy, only to find that all the leaders weren't truly aligned? This article explains how to get everyone truly on board with change. We've all seen the statistics on the rate of failure of organizational changes. In the mid-nineties, Kotter's (2007) now famous article and book "Leading Change" astounded readers with its revelation that 70% of change efforts fail. While certainly these reasons contribute to failure, leaders must take into account additional factors, and address organizational as well as people issues in change programs.

1. Alignment: The Elusive Factor?
How often have you started to deploy a change strategy, only to find that the leaders weren't truly aligned? Too often! First, gauging the progress of a change program requires specific, realistic metrics, for every level of the organization. If an organization wants to realize a value of $100M through consolidation, what piece of that value does each division own? Second, what needs to happen in every division to realize that value? And how will the executives encourage division leads to strive for a common goal? The siloed organization is still alive and kicking. To achieve true alignment, executives must propose a metric that will unify divisions rather than pit them against one another, and encourage the right behaviors.

2. Key Critical Behaviors
With the metrics in mind, leaders at every level of the organization should determine which key critical behaviors would support the change. From the remote field locations (e.g., offshore platforms) to the CEO, what actions will make the biggest impact toward achieving the goal? By aligning behaviors with organizational metrics, the change team can establish correlations and measure progress, and ultimately evaluate the success of the change program. And really, nothing changes until behaviors change.

3. The Road from Resistance to Habits
All this sounds good on paper, you might be thinking... So how do leaders "make" people do what they want them to do? Well, they don't. Telling people what to do differently may work with some, but most will want to know why, what's in it for them, and go through a whole range of emotions and potentially undesired behaviors. At Convergent Results we recommend a coach approach. A key aspect of our behavior change method deals with understanding resistance and motivation, and helping leaders provide the right mix of cues, rewards, and enablers to encourage the behaviors that will drive and sustain the change.

 

With a focus on alignment and critical behaviors, this approach fits into most change methodologies. It is flexible enough to be used in large-scale transformations, or smaller process changes.

 

We hear it all the time from executives --- that employees tell them "change is good - but you go first." We work with leading organizations across the private, public and social sectors struggling to change their business practices. Our scope, and knowledge allows us to address problems that no one else can. We have deep functional and industry expertise and years of boots on the ground experience. We are passionate about taking on challenges that matter to our clients and have the knowledge and expertise to get the job done. If your organization needs change - we're the people to help you design and more importantly implement it.

 

For more information please give us a call or email us at contact@convergentresults.com

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