Organizational change management—the traditional discussion on the subject can be fuzzy, with soft, intangible concepts that are hard to wrap your head around.
Instead of pragmatic, timely solutions with measurable results, the language of organizational change management (OCM) can be academic, vague and something to avoid. Employees can be resistant, especially when they don’t understand why they have to change. Even companies that have strong institutional memories of the past make OCM hard to accept.
“Getting anyone to change is hard, but getting an entire organization to change seems Herculean,” said Cali Coles Rice, Mosaic executive vice president, Consulting Operations. “If a company wants to continue to thrive, and capitalize on the financial investments they’ve made in technology and software, they have to prepare their employees. To ignore change management is like tossing good money out the window.”
Leaders are confronted with the challenge of leading business initiatives that involve large scale change. Many times, the initiative will result from a new set of business goals, new technology, or external industry regulations that require new ways of working throughout the organization.
Organizational change management is a process for engaging people at all levels in the organization’s transition to a desired future. The focus of a good change management approach is to effectively manage the change process upfront so that there is a clear direction, a compelling business case, committed stakeholders and a good execution plan. A well-defined change management approach provides the following benefits:
Managing change is now a core competence that can no longer be considered a supplemental skill or an afterthought. If you want high end-user adoption, managing the human side of change is key to meeting objectives. The goal is to get employees to embrace, adopt and utilize the change in their daily work lives. Change management does this by facilitating greater economic value faster by effectively developing, deploying and aligning the company’s assets for a given project. A critical element to change management initiatives is alignment.
Mosaic’s Organizational Change Management solutions for the utility and oil & gas industry aligns group expectations, communicates change in a manner that all levels of employees understand, integrates teams and manages training people. Results can be tangible and valuable, and have a long-lasting effect on the culture of a company.
Mosaic helps clients know the level of readiness of all stakeholder groups and impacted jobs. Decision makers and action leaders are identified ahead of time to participate throughout the change process. Employee understanding and commitment is built to a crescendo for the launch, creating an atmosphere of anticipation rather than dread.
“In the past, it’s always been a wild card not knowing whether employees will adapt to the change,” Coles Rice said. “All the hopes for a large initiative will dramatically shrink if employees resist change or misunderstand a project. Preparing them ahead of time through organizational change management is often just as important as the implementation itself. It’s absolutely worth the time from nearly every perspective you can look at it.”