It can be fascinating to see changes in nature. More often than not, these changes are repetitive and evolve over time. Whether it is metamorphosis, an abrupt physical change like that of a caterpillar transforming itself into a butterfly, or winter shifting more gradually into spring and summer, we can observe and appreciate nature’s process of change.
Unfortunately, when an organization begins a transformation impacting its people, processes, technology, and even its customers, the change doesn’t usually happen quite so “naturally”. This is because an organization’s maturity and capacity for change is often tested by major transformation projects and their aggressive timelines. Even when adequate precautions have been taken and all the right mechanisms are in place to support the execution of the transformation, your most important resource, people, will experience growing pains.
Different types of transformations may require different strategies and focus (on process or technology for example) in order to be successful. Yet every transformation should take into account and plan for how people will perceive, understand, adopt, and embrace the changes at hand.
This focus on your people is quint essential. Executive leaders and transformation managers must not only build a case for change but also get their resources involved and mobilized (operations, application owners, HR, IT, procurement, etc.) as early as possible in the process so that they can share in the vision and ultimately desire the proposed future state of the organization. Expect resistance to change. There always is.
Resistance to change is inversely proportional to communication and concrete actions. As such it is critical to invest in transformation engagement early. This means involving the right people in building the case for change and ensuring regular communication with key stakeholders on the vision and the strategic benefits.
Only through engagement and communication can your people begin to accept change as a normal, even natural, growth process that is needed by the organization.
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