GOING THROUGH CHANGE? WHY YOU SHOULD INVEST IN CHANGE MANAGEMENT
By Rohan Kay, change management and change communications consultant with 15+ years’ experience in change and stakeholder engagement.
Does change management matter? Is it worth it? Depends on who you ask. There are plenty of leaders that I’ve met who, if you go by their actions, don’t believe in change management at all.
You can see why. Change management is a material cost; and it means that the leadership don’t have a full run of the process. For many senior leaders, that is more than enough to put change management in the “not going to do it” basket.
But I would argue that change management skeptics in the C-suite are missing something essential: managing change affects three essential areas of business success. I call these the “3Rs”.
The first “R” is Risk. Change management is an outstanding approach to managing risk. Because with change comes risk — lots of it. It’s critical to the success of any business change that all risks are managed.
The people who are best placed to expect what the risks are going to be during a change are the people with experience in similar change initiatives, and who — most importantly — can manage the risk as their full-time role, rather than something they do “off the side of their desk”.
Trust me when I say it rarely goes well when risks are managed by people who have limited time, and minimal accountability, to do that work.
The second “R” is Reputation. This is your opportunity to burnish the reputation of your business and leadership among your internal stakeholders. The way to do that is by improving your culture.
Don’t miss the opportunity to tweak — or, if need be, change wholesale — your culture during your change process. After all, your organisational culture is the best determinant of whether your people support the change — and, therefore, whether the change process succeeds or fails.
The third “R” is Results. Business results are a true measure of whether a change process has delivered on its initial business case. The best way to get results for any change program — above and-beyond the management of risk and an intentional change in culture — is project management.
Treat your change process as a project that is managed to within an inch of its life; and find project managers who are well-versed in that skill-set.
By doing project management, you will practically ensure — as long as you also manage your risk and reputation — that your business yields all the results that were indicated in your initial business case, and your change is completed on-time and on-budget.
In summary, I hope I’ve demonstrated why change management has an enormous value to your business as a way to navigate change. Change impacts your business’ risk profile, reputation and results. To ensure those impacts are positive, senior leaders should look seriously at investing in change management.
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