To understand the need to embrace change it is first necessary for an organisation’s leadership to establish and own the need for change.
Possible/likely examples of need are:
- Current processes are failing to deliver the intended or required outcome
- The business is currently failing or under performing and needs to recover
- The business has a retention problem – external recruitment isn’t working
- The customer experience is poor and could compromise the businesses future
- There are no processes in place to provide accurate management data.
- The marketplace is changing.
Whilst this type of list can never be fully exhaustive it does have one common reality. For any of the statements/issues to be valid, an individual, in the key leadership community, needs to agree or believe that the statement is correct. It is then essential that the leadership individual can articulate the issue to the organisation and then take ownership and responsibility for the need to rectify and eradicate/improve the issue.
Thereby clearly articulating to the organisation the need for change. Without the need for change being identified (issue), owned by a key leader and explained to the organisation with a leadership voice. “Embracing change” across the organisation becomes something that the community of individuals that make up the organisation can believe the change is a project being delivered by a project team not the whole community/organisation.
Once the need for change has been correctly identified and sponsored by the key leader then embracing change becomes something that can become part of the culture of an organisation or project. The optimum way to demonstrate to an organisation or team that embracing change is a positive journey. Is to take a project or business process change from inception to delivery and implementation with a fully enabled change management focus alongside all phases of the project.
Change management focuses on the individual’s journey from hearing and understanding the need from the project sponsor in the leadership team to using and embracing the “new ways of working” long after the deliverables of the project have been put in place.
By delivering and demonstrating this change management approach successfully subsequent projects and business process changes, are now confronted by an organisation that is change tolerant. Because the change management approach has ensured that the change journey is now a ‘safe journey’ for the individual, and consequently the organisation too is more able to collectively embrace change. This is cultural shift within the organisation delivered by focussing on the needs of the individual as well as the project.