Change is certain. If we can accept the certainty of change then we can be open to its predictability. If we can predict change, we can prepare for it. If we are prepared for change then we will no longer resist it, but rather anticipate it and take advantage of it.
In outsourced relationships our success depended on collaborating with downstream professionals to fulfil functions where we were not the experts. It is rare that a client will have contact with a subcontractor or even be aware their services are outsourced further downstream.
Regulatory compliance, especially relating to data security and privacy, is shining a light on the need for greater transparency in supply chain relationships.
Accepting responsibility for the success of “change” means also taking accountability for user onboarding, user adoption, and successfully implementing new ways of doing things. This invariably means including new technology to empower new processes. When implementing something new, it is as important to sunsets the "old" as quickly as possible. Measures of success remain strategic business ambitions that initiated the change.
Change management has been a critical part of any new technology adoption and, most importantly, in any implementation project. Investments in technology, new processes, and new people/talent are made precisely to effect change. If change is not required, then its simple - do nothing.
If one is going to invest in Change, lets ensure Change Management is considered and committed to first. Consider Change Managers the Architects of Success. Controversial maybe, but if Change Managers have ownership of design, then let them be accountable for what technology, processes and people will be required to achieve the change. At very least ensure they are included in any proposed investments in change and its associated spend – people, processes, and technology. Change Management is a strategic function.
A lack of investment in Change Management will lead to projects failing. Look a bit closer and one might find downstream processes and supply partners are left out of the Change Management process, and can be the point of failure of any new technology and processes being implemented.
The basic principles of supply chain can be overwhelming. In any one process, there can be hundreds of downstream suppliers of product and services. These “unknown” participants can introduce threats to a program’s success, and ultimately risk a customer’s business continuity. Neglecting to include participating third parties in any change management program will prove costly.
I was fortunate to meet up with Michele De Kreek of Up-Time Consulting. This specialist change management consultancy understands third parties’ impact and the importance of including them in any change management process. I asked Michele to demystify the function of change management for me:
Hi Michele, maybe I can start by asking, “What is Change”?
Thanks Chris. The old saying remains true: “The only constant in life is change!” The most basic understanding of what change is, is that life changes, whether we like it or not. The physical (i.e. new tools to perform duties) and emotional (i.e. perceptions and attitudes towards change) aspects shape how we experience a change in our work environments. When change happens, the first thing to realize is that how you react is in your control. The biggest barrier to change is inside you. This is why Change Management is increasingly becoming one of the most critical investments for organisations.
Thank you for such a clear summary. Can you offer the main reasons why organisations should invest in Change Management?
Our circumstances are constantly changing, even if we don’t want them to. Remember Covid? Brexit, environment catastrophes and political uprisings. Organisations must develop internal competence to deal with unknown changes by investing in people, processes, and technology.
Second to this we must follow regulated compliance in many aspects of a project for new processes, and it's critical to be aware of what your responsibilities are.
Good Change Management can be meaningful and be a champion and incubator for better employee experiences. Now more than ever, we want to hold onto our talent, who are the custodians of our corporate future.
That positive employee experience will translate into achieving a superior customer experience and make an organisation stand out in their industry.
The task might seem overwhelming. Do you have advice for those smaller organisations that might not be able to afford a professional consultancy to help them design and deploy a change management program?
A successful implementation is the sum of clarity on the solution/vision + committed leadership + empowered teams, and a clear project plan has actionable deliverables and timelines. If in doubt we are happy to have an exploratory conversation and share any resources that can help.
At Up Time we have developed a three-phased process to guide an organisation on their Change Management Journey.
Step 1 - The DIVE phase uses facilitation as a powerful tool to unlock solutions for challenges, create team alignment and achieve Organizational clarity. This ensures a solid foundation which can adapt to change.
Step 2 - The STRIVE phase is about recognizing that your people are your greatest asset, and equipping them for the transformation is essential for success.
Step 3 - The THRIVE phase is about building a solid foundation with the right building blocks to prepare individuals and organisations for change.
Great thank you for that Michele. So, I understand a short mantra might work – DIVE, STRIVE, THRIVE! In aiming to thrive, we must align teams for organizational clarity. This includes internal players as well as external partners and suppliers. More often, one should invest in programs that will help these audiences adapt to change. An organisation needs to empower their people resources to effect the required change and lay out a course of building blocks to help everyone follow the correct path.
Yes, you have summarized the opportunity perfectly. We need to anticipate Change, adapt to it, and learn to embrace and enjoy it. The greatest gift we can experience in our organisations is not to cling to what was but to simply accept what is in the now.
About Up Time Consulting
Up Time Consulting is a Change Management & Leadership Development company. Their team of 30+ consultants primary focus is assisting organisations who are going through any form of transformation, whether a large-scale transformation or a smaller system implementation change project.
About Michele de Kreek
Michele is a big picture thinker. She has a passion for people, technology, enhancing business processes and enabling people through the adaptation of new implementations. This allows organisations to achieve their strategic objectives.