By michaelpace on April 23, 2012
It’s great to see a portion of the focus on social media technologies shift from shiny objects and how to market better to increasing the adoption of the tools and uses within the organization. The era of the Social Business or, as I prefer to call it, the Social Organization is just beginning to take hold in progressive companies, and should start to “Cross the Chasm” within the next few years. Yes, it is going to take at least a few years; some laggard companies still do not let some of their associates access the internet via their workstation. For those companies starting down the Social Organization path, or considering it, introducing tools and new corporate communication policies is not going to be enough to be successful in achieving high adoption. Companies will need to change from the inside out, shift their culture, and learn new, better ways of working and interacting.
But how do you change successfully?
Are your organization’s leaders skilled in the arts and sciences of change management?
Do you have a change management plan or methodology?
Over the years, few training courses have stuck with me like training I received while with Capital One on Change Management. For more on the specific training that was provided, please visit PROSCI’s Change Management Learning Center, in the meantime, I’ll provide my key takeaways. The basis for much of the training centered around the acronym ADKAR.
Most successful changes start with the impacted stakeholders being made aware of the changes. This is just an introduction to the changes that will be coming. This information may have a positive, neutral or negative impact on your associates morale, job satisfaction, workload, role, and/or position within the organization. Prior to making your associates aware of the change, I recommend completing a Change Management Assessment. See below for an example:
Steps to complete a Change Management Assessment:
1. Identify changes or workstream
2. Provide a brief description
3. Identify a SINGLE Owner
4. Judge the impact to the stakeholders
5. Is it a positive, negative or neutral change?
6. Is training required?
7. Is a communication plan or strategy required?
8. Are there organizational changes associated with this change?
9. How aware is the organization that this change is coming?
10. Identify all stakeholders associated with the change
Often the building of Desire coincides with the communication associated with Awareness. This is your “Why”. Having a strong understanding of the possible outcomes, consequences and ripple effects is critical to be able to build the Desire for change. While creating your plan to build Desire, a great idea is to bring in 2-4 influential associates to understand what their concerns are, questions they have, and their thoughts on what the general populous reactions will be to the changes.
This is where your training or continuous learning plans come into play. In general, most people recognize this phase of change management best. This is where you develop and execute training, or providing the Knowledge, for your associates.
If Knowledge was the training or learning, Ability is the opportunity to put what has been made aware and trained into practice. You will also want to make sure you are quality monitoring in this phase, and be available to provide coaching and support.
Sometimes the most forgotten area of change management, Reinforcement is your opportunity to implement incentives (and consequences if necessary) to help your associates keep/adopt the change. The most important part of this phase is credibility. Are you walking your talk? Is this a fly-by-night , flavor of the month initiative? Identify multiple ways so your changes can be internalized by your teams.
The more impactful the change, the greater the need is for change management. If you are discussing culture change, there are few changes more impactful. By investing early on in the change timeline on a change management methodology will help ensure you execute even more excellently. This model can also be used for external customers, and I would even suggest just trying it for your next customer impacting initiative.
Have you used change management methodologies before? If so, how did it differ?
If you fear process, does this sound like too much process?
Are you considering a change on the magnitude of a culture shift?
I would love to hear your thoughts.