Switch to a Continual
Organizational Change Process
for Fast Rapid Results!
Implementing a continual organizational change process reduces the cost of changing, enables companies to implement changes faster, improves change results, and helps create a high performance business!
Some change agents may think of the organizational change process as being very similar to the John Kotter8 Steps change management model. Perhaps suggesting it is a series of pre-defined steps and using this type of change management theory as a set approach to the change management process.
I, as a change management consultant suggest to you there is a more 'effective change management' approach for ensuring your organizations goals are achieved!
So why have I outlined the organizational change process below in a series of steps similar to the John Kotter change management model?
The reason is, I am using the steps below is to demonstrate that the organizational change process may have key milestones or 'boxes to tick', to ensure we are covering necessary things and heading in the right direction.
Yes and fair enough, the steps below may not be the ideal steps for your organization. What I hope is the discussion below makes the point that a continual high performance organizational change process can be developed, and it can be installed for your organization to be a sustainable high performance business.
For your organization to achieve long-term sustainable results from its change management activities, for it to be the best it possibly can, the process must be implemented as a continuing management operating process!
11 Step Continual Organizational Change Process
What I believe is that to be a top performing organization firms need to maintain a regular routine process that involves continual review, to continually improve and continually stay ahead. Yes I agree this does require some skills outside of the scope of traditional change management theories. This is an area of the change management training and implementation service I provide as a change management consultant.
In short, the organizational change process starts, goes through a series of steps, achieves an outcome, and then starts over again. It is a business process that produces the answers for which change management activities are required that will result in an improvement to the business.
It is true, to make this possible in the competitive business world we live in today organizations have to employ top people. Or they must contract external change management consultants with skills in this type of organizational change process.
The benefit however is by establishing a change management process as a business system that embraces the opportunity to review and change with flexibility on a regular basis it set's the company up for rapid success.
We do not live in a world of certainty and predictability so organizations must establish a system of working within this type of environment.
Using the 11 Step Summary Below
This is an eleven step summary of the general organizational change process that any organization can refer to. While reviewing this, ask yourself does your organization undertake this or a similar process on a regular basis?
If not, how could you set up a management operating system inside your organization so that the review of improvement opportunities is undertaken on a regular daily ongoing basis as part of your daily management processes.
So that your organization can achieve rapid results and better results than it is today!
Step 1 - Build Awareness
The first step in the organizational change process begins with building awareness. A company's people need to be aware that there is a continuing pressure to make a change or improve. Why? Otherwise things will stand still, the status quo will remain the same and many things will never change.
Competition and competitive forces will take over. You may hear people say, 'The way we do things around here!'
One benefit of this awareness and pressure is that it gets things moving and when actioned correctly, it gets positive things done. Maybe the CEO has insights into what lies ahead and this awareness becomes the internal pressure to change.
This awareness among your employees is significant benefit for your business because it provides your organization a motivational edge. When this motivation is followed by action your organization can lead its field.
And in addition this invites into the business anticipation of what lies ahead which is more important than ever before because of the rapid rate that business consumer and producer markets are changing and with tougher competition and so on.
Step 2 - Recognize an Area of Need
The second step in the organizational change process is to recognize where in the business is the most important need right now. We may be aware that there is pressure for our business or department to improve of change, but how do we determine what area within our business or department to focus on. Where is the greatest need?
The starting point may be by undertaking a simple company health check. It may be by looking at what gaps exist between where the business is now and where you want it to be, or by comparing the elements of a high performance business to your own, or by benchmarking against competitors.
Internally often the area of need can be recognized by reviewing the company's financial performance. However you may also recognize a need in the company's staff attrition rates, number of injuries at work or when the firm is not producing the volume it has the capacity to produce. There may be too much down time of equipment, high maintenance, failure and defect rates, or the trend is successful sales calls may be heading down.
One benefit of analyzing the business is recognizing the area where changes are most needed now.
Step 3 - Diagnose the Problem
The third step in the organizational change process is to diagnose the extent of how broad the opportunity is to improve. To diagnose the existing issues or problems affect on the firm and which aspect of it should be focused on first?
Initially the various change management tools such as internal interviews, survey questionnaires, workplace observation, and data mining and brainstorming techniques can be used. In addition, to complete a root causes analysis of the main issues, some of the operations management tools to use include Pareto charts, fishbone diagrams and the 5 whys.
Collect and analyze as much information as is needed when managing change in the workplace to be able to make the first major decision. How widespread the issue appears to be will determine the extent of the analysis required. It may involve organizational wide analysis including reviewing the firms goals, plans and practices, or may involve just one department or function.
Step 4 - Decision 1
Are we going to take this opportunity or not? This is first major decision in the organizational change process. Answering the question: Are we going to fix the problem, or not fix it and maintain the course we are on?
Step 5 - Develop, Review and Compare Possible Courses of Action
Determine which action will provide the best result in the shortest possible time. Reviewing and comparing possible courses of action is the fifth step of the organizational change process.
More than one area of the business may improve with some causes of actions, while other actions may not fit well because they may cause a problem somewhere else. Continue with additional brainstorming activities and data analysis with your team and through stakeholder analysis to develop the best courses of action available.
One benefit of this step is the opportunity to determine the right action that will deliver the sustainable results you seek in the shortest possible time.
Step 6 - Decision 2
Selecting the best course of action to take is the second major decision in the organizational change process. Try to base this decision on the achievement of the end result being in support of the firm's strategic objectives, and one that can be sustainable and provide financial benefit to your firm.
Step 7 - Plan the Change
Develop the change management plan. Planning the change will involve answering the questions of who, what, when, where, how and why. At this point begin to consider the elements of my actionable change management model outlined on this site. Each one of the aspects of this model will need to be considered in the plans development for the best chance of change management and improvement success.
Refer to the change management templates section of this site for change management forms that can be used in the organizational change process, such for developing change management plans, and for links to other change management resources available at this site.
Step 8 - Reassess and Adjust
Check your original business plan against your change management plan and its scheduled roll-out. This is a short double checking phase of the organizational change process. Understand and highlight any differences the impact of the change may have on the business plan and make adjustments where necessary.
Step 9 - Implement the Plan
Action time. Implementing the changes and improvements is the ninth step in the organizational change process, the action phase. Communicate the details of the plan to all people involved and ensure understanding of the changes, how it effects them and their required involvement. This helps in reducing internal challenges to change and minimizes change resistance.
Implementation should go ahead smoothly if the diagnosis and involvement of staff and the stakeholder analysis has been undertaken thoroughly. If the project has been rushed through without proper consultation and review then it may be a very hard project to implement, more expensive, and could take a very long time.
Step 10 - Follow-up, Measure and Review
Follow-up, measure and review the change. Ensure your firm can maintain sustainable results after the change by having an installed management operating system.
- Follow-up initially by reviewing company measuring and reporting results.
- Measure the actual outcomes against the planned deliverables, and review the 'as is' against the 'as was'.
- Carry out skills audits to identify gaps and to support staff.
- Review results to identify additional areas for continued change.
- Report the efficiency and effectiveness of the new business systems and processes back into the ongoing organizational change process.
Step 11 - Celebrate Achievements
Staff barbeques and interdepartmental sports matches are two functions of the organizational change process I have been involved in with firms celebrating successful change management and business improvement implementations.
These types of events are great for continuous improvement strategies, with most people involved having a nice time they can also help to bring different teams within the company closer together.
Other options organizations use to celebrate achievements include staff recognition and reward programs, promotions and positive performance appraisals.
Additional Organizational Change Process Notes
For successful change, and to sustain the commitment to change, the organizational change process cycle needs to keep going. If your firm makes a change and then ceases to continue the process that begins in a continuing review, before long people will likely settle back to the old way of doing things.
When changes and improvements are later required, people become uncomfortable and the firm and people will have more challenges. My point here is to highlight the necessity of establishing a business culture of continuous change and improvement.
By structuring your organizational change process as a system of continuing need to improve, the issues that may be holding your organization back from doing its best become visible.
By implementing a business change management process that focuses attention on all aspects of the organization, including those aspects that are not changing, sustainability of high performance becomes achievable.
Change resistance can provide substantial benefits to your firm as later in the organizational change process people begin to suggest more ways to improve and to make more changes.
One of the reasons people may initially resist change is because they were not involved in the development of the project initiatives. However because they are a part of the organization they will in most cases participate in the roll-out.
Initially their behavior may appear mechanical, however as the change management benefits start to come through and the momentum increases, their commitment to the project initiatives and the organization builds.
For change management specialists and the business change consultant etc, the organizational change process should include:
Then by starting this process over again, the cycle continues.
- identifying issues, problems and opportunities for the business where improvements or changes are needed.
- Engaging with others to review and discuss the area of need.
- working with others through the implementation.
The change management process is an action filled cycle that can cover the entire organization and is why being a change agent and change management consultant is one of the most exciting roles in any business.
Formal company policy requirements of the organizational change process typically include:
The cycle repeats for continuous improvement.
- Clearly defining the issues, proposed changes and the project parameters and deliverables.
- Gaining agreement and receiving sign-off approval from all stakeholders involved including departments heads, senior managers and team leaders.
- The development of the change management plan, including acquiring the allocation of resources, establishing measuring and monitoring systems and doing final re-assessments.
- Post implementation updating of company procedure manuals and records, and continued reviews to identify additional needs after implementing the change.
For further assistance with the organizational change process from a change management consultant and business improvement specialist, contact me and I will be happy to set up an appointment with you.
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