Improving Project Success Through Organizational Change

Too often, well-intentioned managers begin project initiatives without thoroughly evaluating the organizational changes required to help ensure the initiatives are truly successful. Neglecting to include and properly communicate with employees can lead to resistance and project failure. The author shares two examples from his practice to illustrate how and what to communicate effectively to increase project support.

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Using Workforce Analytics to Navigate Organizational Change (SU306)

Successful organizations are adopting change management as a fundamental skill, and viewing it as a competitive advantage. Does your organization have what it takes to achieve sustainable change? Research shows that 70 percent of all major change efforts fail to fully deliver. This is largely due to well-planned changes getting blindsided by people issues during implementation. In this session, you will learn how to leverage behavioral science and workforce analytics to support sustainable and…

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Organizational Change and Managing Resistance to Change

We all hear of change and change agents in organizational, national, and international contexts. However, resistance to change is as natural as change itself and hence, change agents need to ensure that what they are attempting is grounded and well thought of and executed. This article examines some approaches that legendary change agents have embraced in pursuit of their vision and mission.

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Forces of Organizational Change: Planned vs. Unplanned Change and Internal & External Change

This article presents a description of the Planned vs. Unplanned Changes and the internal as well as external factors as the primary forces dictate organizational change. It explains the taxonomy that results as a consequence of the combination of these two dimensions in the form of Planned Internal Change, Unplanned Internal Change, Planned External Change and Unplanned External Change.

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Determining Forces of Organizational Change

This article presents a description regarding how both internal and external factors influence organizational change and its relative interdependence for helping an organization survive and grow. External forces are the environmental forces of change and are beyond the control of an organization, but majorly influence an organization’s change management strategy. Whereas, internal forces of organizational change are the internal forces of change, which may help an organization in either prospering and remaining ahead of the competition or stay behind the competitive race.

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Relationship Between Organizational Structure, Design & Change

This article examines how organizational structure is determined by a variety of factors including the type of organization, the industry it is in, and the vision of the original founders and the continuance or break from such tradition. The key themes in this article are that the organizational structure often determines its adaptability of resistance to changes in the external environment. Further, the nature of the jobs and the work are also discussed in relation to organizational structure.

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Individual and Organizational Sources of Resistance to Change

This article attempts to analyze various individual as well as organizational sources of resistance to change and their impact on the successful implementation of change. Individual sources of change are the subjective factors, personal habits, inherent fear or inertia and perceptual factors which may act as barriers to implementation of organization-wide change. Organizational sources are directly linked with various organizational threats, resource limitations, inertia from the groups and shortage of availability of right competencies and expertise.

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Initial Stakeholder Engagement in a Cultural Change Project: A Case Study

The successful rollout of a fundamental change needs support and buy-in from senior stakeholders. The project manager therefore needs to plan for adequate and persistent senior stakeholder engagement. This article introduces two measures–Appetite for Innovation (AI) and Trust (T)–that can be used to predict likely responses of senior stakeholders to organizational change. Low AI can be addressed by making the change real and relevant to stakeholders. Low Trust can be addressed by improving the awareness of senior stakeholders about the change that is being introduced.

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Agile 101: Change Companion

Many organizational change initiatives are undone by lack of buy-in, fuzzy goals or basic human fatigue and resistance. A better of understanding of some basic agile concepts such as minimum viable product, short release cycles and feedback loops can be helpful in overcoming these pitfalls when leading transformative projects.

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The Big Change Management Lie

The idea that people always resist change is a lie, and it is extremely damaging to organizations seeking to increase their organizational agility. The truth is that people only resist changes that they either do not understand or for which they do not interpret there to be benefits great enough to offset the costs of their participation.

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Change Is In the Cards

Resistance is a given on most major change initiatives, but if it can be transformed into useful feedback, it can often improve the end result, says project veteran Cheryl Randle, who helps Hallmark Cards greet organizational change with a win-win focus, tailored communication to stakeholders and training to drive performance.

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Reinforcing Project Management in Functional Organizations with Business Process and Change Management

Organizational structures are an important enterprise environmental factor affecting the effectiveness of project management. Through a literature review and an actual business case, this article reveals how a functional organization structure limits project management practice. The article will then illustrate how proper business process and change management initiatives can be adopted to enhance the values of project management under such an organizational structure.

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Organizational Agility

At its core, Organizational Agility is about strategic responsiveness and functional flexibility. Companies that master it — that embrace rapid change as a source of energy and innovation — will thrive while others stagnate. Here is an introduction to the concept, including the driving forces behind it and the characteristics that define it.

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Change From Afar: Navigating Virtual Team Members Through Change

Projects involving organizational change pose a challenge for project professionals leading virtual teams. This article discusses how project managers can navigate virtual team members through change, whether large or small. In doing so, it reports the results of the 2011-2012 Towers Watson study, Clear Direction in a Complex World, which shows that organizations that are highly effective at change management and communication are twice as likely to outperform their peers and eight times as likely to continue to exhibit new behaviors after a change is complete.

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Change is Not Always Pain

How can organizational change be implemented with a minimum of distress? Change frequently results in unrest, uncertainty and concern caused by nothing more than fear. People lose focus, become less productive and potentially seek out alternative employment because of the fear of something that is not going to happen. In this article, we look at how we can manage those situations more effectively.

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Be a Leader of Change! Resistance is Futile.

Facilitating Change is a World Class Sales Competency that needs attention! This subject is so COMPLEX and CHAOTIC that it is very difficult to explain, manage or measure. As a Trainer, it is critical now for you to be able to understand how change affects your company and is reflected in your training. Let’s keep this SIMPLE! Your company is most likely affected by harder economic conditions today and will be driven to improve efficiency, productivity, and service quality. The training methods and outcomes you present to your employees will be a measuring stick for these improvement changes.Change happens CONSTANTLY and you must be able to ADAPT to it. Business Change – Sales Training In Sales Training, be sensitive to teach your team about the size and scale of any management decision. – small to large – and how it affects operation, sector, location, history, and employee population. Change is about moving an organization from a current position to a future condition, for the purpose of marketplace strategy and employee workplace performance alignment. Evaluating sales and marketing change strategies can be done by looking at other company case studies and ROI analysis. But, beware! “Tested” sales strategies and implementations that have been tried before by other organizations may not be the best one for your company or for your team to experience! Also, be careful to look at the effects of bringing in other Subject Matter Experts or Consultants who have had successful outcomes using “tried and true” methodologies that have worked for them in the past. These too may not work in your particular organization. Make sure that the new change initiative is a process to be facilitated rather than a plan that can be dictated to the employees The People vs. YOU! Facilitating change through people is very TOUGH because people are TOUGH and generally RESISTANT to anything that is different than what they are used to – especially if they have created a habit or routine that seemingly makes their life easier. People are more reactive than proactive and changing anything in their world (personal or work environment) can be confusing to deal with! However, through honesty and being straightforward about your change strategy, you can break through any resistance that people give you. The TRUTH will always set you free, even in business where money seems to be king over the people. Nothing could be farther from the truth! You cannot run a business without the power of people. The love of people is the root of successful business in sales! If there is a change initiative approaching where people are involved, brace yourself for the resistance. You can guarantee that too many opinions will be involved! So, like the good Boy Scout or Brownie, “Be Prepared” to brace yourself emotionally and intellectually for the upcoming change challenges presented in front of you. People present problems all the time at the top, middle or bottom of any organization – that will need to be dealt with if the company is to succeed overall. Many organizational studies say that the best change efforts are better left to employee engagement and creative teams rather than top down leadership. Many change efforts have failed because the company demanded the change process to be handled and controlled by corporate policy and procedure with little or no creative thinking allowed. According to Hank Garber, CEO of National Risk Managers in Long Island, NY, (natlriskmgrsltd@aol.com), one way to engage employees in facilitating organizational change is to “make your employees your partners in the process of change”. He also states that you can gain “greater and more effective communication- internal & external- by working to create a sales orientation that permeates every part of a business, leading to increased revenue, client retention, and loyalty by customers and employees. The focus of change should be for the betterment of everyone in the organization as it relates to increase business results that sustain organizational growth.

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ASTD 2011 Interview With The Change Book Authors

We spoke at the International Conference & Expo with Change Book authors Mary Stewart and Tricia Emerson. The two talked about culture, getting executives aligned with change initiatives, and why it’s all about the research. Q: Let’s first scratch the surface: Visually, The Change Book is a very unique business book. How do you feel this look and feel help to drive home your ideas and strategies? Mary: One of the big principles that we explore in the book is taking the learner’s point of view. One way to think about that is that we’re talking to people like ourselves, but we are also talking to people with a variety of learning styles. And we asked ourselves, what would we want to read if we were reading a business book about change. There are different kinds of people with different perspectives, different cultures and styles of learning. How do we incorporate both of those things: What do we want from a reader’s perspective? So we thought about that and we came up with a couple of different things: First of all, we are busy. So we don’t have a lot of time. If I start to read a book that’s very linear in fashion and it’s 300 pages long, I might not feel as though I’ve gotten what I should get until I’ve read the 300th page. So that might be an investment of time for me. So we wanted a book that delivered content in small packages – each chapter is something you can literally open up, read (each chapter is probably 3 pages long), and then you can close the book, and you’ve gotten something from it. Another thing is, we know a lot about some things and not others. What we thought about with our book is that maybe we want people to go directly to the topic they want to learn about. We want people to go directly to the table of contents and say, ‘For the questions I have, I want to look at this chapter or that chapter, and maybe that’s all I need for now.’ And they can skip the ones that they feel they have a handle on already. Tricia and I are both visual learners and so we didn’t want to rely too heavily on words. We wanted to layer the content. All people learn on different levels. Maybe some people are persuaded more by stories and metaphors. Some people (like us) are persuaded by visuals—if I can imagine the four quadrants of a model in my head, then I can remember it, and I can teach it. But if I have to read everything in a narrative form, sometimes it doesn’t stick as well. So we tried to layer these things: words plus visuals, plus stories, plus metaphors, plus tools you can use. So maybe one of those ways appeals to you, and that’s what resonates with you. We also need the ability to transfer knowledge to others so that we have something we can take away, and a lot of words on a page doesn’t really facilitate that. And finally, the last thing that we need at the end of a long day is something that’s grim and dry. So we try to make it kind of fun. If I’m reading a book about work, after work, I don’t want to feel like it’s more work! I want to feel engaged and have something that cheers me up. We wrote a book that we liked! Tricia: I think that if something is fun, the ideas will resonate. We wanted to be not only playful, but deep, and based in research. The challenge was that people already know a lot about this topic, so we said, let’s challenge them by capturing those ideas in a way that is playful and fun, but meaty. It would be easy to dismiss the book as a ‘puff’ piece because it is so visually pleasing. But because it is grounded in evidence, that was the fun part: Making the hard work seem fun. That’s what expertise is: Doing something really complicated and making it look easy. Q: You insert a bit of Jungian theory in the book in terms of “archetypes.” What inspired you to connect these ideas in writing about culture change? Tricia: As world-class ‘nerds,’ we’re always looking for research and seeing what comes out of the universities. There was work being done by a woman named Carol Pearson out of the University of Maryland. She latched onto her ideas as she was doing work with CAPT (formed by Isabel Myers who was administering her surveys from there). What I thought was compelling was that she was working with PR firms taking the research around stories and around Jungian archetypes and associating it with brand. The reason why archetypes are so important for change is that stories define who we are as people. I can define myself as a caregiver, or jester, or a hero, and you’re going to know exactly what I mean. So it goes primarily to who I am as a person. Carol was saying that organizations have similar story lines. If I tell you that I work for Google, you’re going to make some assumptions about me. If I say that I work at Apple, you’ll say I’m a creative anarchist, and wear black t-shirts to work [laughs]. There are assumptions based on that brand. That’s compelling because it attracts people whose personal stories resonate with the brand story. That’s how culture comes about. So whenever you start to implement a new change, you have to be aware of the aggregate of all those individual stories and how that plays out from an organizational standpoint. People often come to me and say ‘I want to change our culture.’ And I’ll say first of all, ‘Why?’ And secondly, I get them to understand that they are changing the course of a river. So there has been ‘water hitting those rocks’ for many years, and the truth is that that organization was created by a lot of people gravitating toward the story that it projects. So If I am going to go there and change the culture, I’d better know what that story is, and if I’m going to work within that culture, I need to understand the overriding culture and the substories. And if I want to implement change, I’d better bring some dynamite, and I’d better build some dams. It’s better to work with the course of the river than to try to reroute it! So I think it was a perfectly logical extension on the Jungiuan work into the culture arena. I think we in the profession need to be thinking very hard about that. Q: Harnessing the right kind of people power is a huge part of change undertakings, so how can change leaders combat the dreaded competing silos in shaping their initiatives? Mary: There’s a finding in sociology that people can be motivated by a superordinate goal. That means a goal that affects everyone, that is compelling and that is more important than the goal of one’s own group. One thing we talk about is not shying away from the pain of the current state of an organization. In thinking about moving from state A to state B, organizations don’t like to use negative messages that say, ‘things are going to be bad if we don’t change,’ and they say instead, ‘things will be a little better if we do change.’ We recommend that they do say those difficult things because that creates the difference between that terrible future we don’t want and the great future that we’re all moving toward. So that can create a really compelling sense of urgency in their organization so that they stop competing with each other and instead compete with ‘the world’ as a group. Tricia: It’s base-level. You see what people call “the common enemy” that’s an expression of the superordinate goal. Essentially, what we’re talking about is executive sponsorship. Leaders have to be aligned. Often, the first thing we do in embarking on a large change is to put the executives in the same room together and have them come up with the four words that define what this change is about. This is basd in political science and political commnication. We get them on message. Because if they are not in agreement, it’s not going to happen. It has to happen at the very beginning; at the very top. Often, what companies do in a change initiative is create communications (slides or memos) for their executives. But when you meet that executive in the hallway, they’re not on message. And it doesn’t come from the heart. People look to the senior executives during changes, and if they’re not talking about it, people are going to assume this is a flavor of the month, and they’re not going to pay attention. So the upfront conversation has to be about why the status quo is no longer acceptable. Systems theory tells us that we don’t change until the current system no longer works for us. We have to be clear that the current system is broken. People don’t want to say that, but we’ve got to get executives on point with that. Second, we need to say ‘this is what the vision looks like’—the ‘shining city on the hill.’ It has to be graphic. Then we show them the first steps. This is why we equip them with those four words. Also, groups self-correct. There are unspoken rules that are created when people come together. This is the concept of emergent norms. This is also true of cultures—unspoken rules. People eventually come to understand what’s correct and what’s not. And they behave accordingly. When you pull the executives together and have them come up with these messages, the norms come out. This is all grounded in research. It’s time for us to start employing these principles in trying to have an impact on our organizations. We tend to start with the learning solution, which is great because that’s how you sustain change. But it’s really about behavioral change first, and how you get the system to work to your benefit. Q: In a sentence, what is one pearl of wisdom you’d like your readers to go forth with after reading The Change Book? Tricia: HPI and change management is a field of discipline that requires study. People need to read more research! Mary: Change is hard, but don’t be afraid of the negatve stuff because you can make it work to your advantage.

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Organization Development Fundamentals: Managing Strategic Change

About 60 percent of all organizational change efforts fail. And some authorities believe that the quintessential management competency for the future will be the ability to manage change. But how can change be managed? And is it even possible? Organization development (OD) has been around for a long time. But OD is not taught in most business schools, a fact that complicates matters when it comes to managers trying to lead change with and through people. Too often the project plan is elevated…

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Change Happens Leading Yourself and Others Through Change

Change brings both challenges and opportunities. It can bring an organization together by uniting the team around a unifying purpose and vision, or it can create chaos. In this webcast, Mack and Ria Story will cover key leadership principles on leading and leveraging changes in organizations, communicating change and overcoming resistance to it, and implementing a strategy to unite the team around a unifying purpose. After attending this webcast, attendees will be able to: – Identify opportunities presented by organizational change. – Identify two methods for communicating change to decrease resistance to change. – Implement a strategy to unite the team around a unifying purpose.

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Change Management

Trainers must be comfortable with managing change to be effective organizational performance partners. Use this Infoline as a primer on change management tactics and the skills needed to facilitate change. This issue includes useful tools, hands-on examples, and models for change practitioners to use. In addition to a six-phase change strategy model, you will find a list of needed implementation skills, a performance issue analysis tool, and other important advice that will smooth the way of change and reduce barriers. Author: Stella Louise Cowan
Product SKU: 259904 ISBN: 978-1-56286-242-8
Pages: 16 pages Publisher: ASTD Press
Format: Booklet

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Vision of Leaders has to be Actualized by Middle Management for Organizational Success

This article discusses how visionary leaders need to ensure that their message is not lost once they retire or when the external environment changes. The key theme in this article is that the middle management is crucial to organizational success and plays an important part in being an interface between the top leadership and the rank and file employees.

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Managing the Transition from Hierarchical to Network Organizational Structures

Change is inevitable for any organization and especially so, when internal organizational structures have to be reorganized to keep up with the external imperatives. When such reorganizations and transitions happen, there are bound to be challenges galore, and this article examines some of those challenges and offers some insights into how such transitions can be handled well.

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Psychological Contract and Change Management

The article attempts to explain the meaning of the term psychological contract, and it’s interconnection with change management. Psychological Contract is described in an organizational context in this article, and its relevance is explained in strengthening workplace relationships, in analyzing human behaviour and analyzes the subtleties involved in the relationship between an employee and an employer.

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Battle Between Change Agents and Status Quo Interests in Every Organization

Organizational change is usually accompanied by a battle between the change agents and those who prefer the status quo. Thus, this article examines how these battles play out with reference to real world examples. The key theme in this organization is that both change agents and status quo adherents have to be understood in a nuanced manner and change itself delineated in a deeper way rather than mere platitudes.

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The Practice of Organizational Diversity around the World

This article explores the practice of organizational diversity across the world by comparing the western experience with that of the east. The key theme in this article is that whereas in the West, the basic norms are followed though there are exceptions from time to time, in the East, one needs a sea change in the attitudes to inculcate respect and prevent harassment at the workplace.

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