Effective Change Management

It sounds so simple -- just implement. We are prone to consider most of the technical issues when implementing a new technology, but we seldom change policies or procedures, even when the new process is in conflict. And if we did, I doubt very seriously we would tell many people about the changes.

I wondered why this happens, and I think I figured it out. Humans have tunnel vision. We see the urgency in immediate issues, forego longer-term strategies and know that all the people we interrupt will somehow find a work around it. It is our human nature to work it out, and that train of though might very well be getting in the way.

Did you ever stop to think about the real impact on the organization when we move forward with and new business program, technology or area of automation? Here it is in a nutshell: If you do not prepare your team for the anticipated outcome, people will continue to conduct business the way they have always conducted business.

Most of the old processes will stay in tact. For example, if the system does not appear to provide information, they will recreate it in spreadsheets, often getting information from someone else’s spreadsheet instead of running a report off of a system.

I want you to ask yourself three questions: Did you latest marketing program rise to the occasion? Did you get a return on your investment with a technology implementation (I mean did cash actually hit the bank?) Did the last area of automation really reduce or eliminate manual processes or make someone’s job easier?

If you answered no to any or all of these questions, I recommend doing these three things:
1. Pull a meeting of all your key players
2. Identify the broken areas and build a plan for the repair job
3. Communicate, and keep it simple: Who, What, When, Where and Why

Lisa Stewart
Impact 21 Group, LLC

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