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The 11 best Change Management resources in May 2022

01 June 2022

Many great articles, posts, podcasts, webinars, videos and memes were published in May about Change Management.

author picture Article written by Morten Kamp Andersen

The 11 best Change Management resources
in May 2022

"Change hurts. It makes people insecure, confused, and angry. People want things to be the same as they've always been because it makes life easier. But, if you're a leader, you can't let your people hang on to the past". This quote by former US Navy Seal Commander Richard Marcinko is often used in change management. I personally feel it is too negative about people's willingness to make a change. I don't think that changing the company's time registration system or adding a new button to the CRM interface will hurt most people. But change is sometimes hard, and it does require leadership.  
 
We have curated 11 resources, which are worth reading if you want to stay on top of what is going on in change management.

1. LISA KEMPTON.
5 ways to help sponsors build a coalition of support for change

Lisa Kempton is the Director of Research and Product Development at Prosci. In this article, Lisa discusses the sponsor coalition. With a strong coalition, organisational changes are far more likely to succeed. Yet, sponsors often fail to demonstrate support for the project in words and actions. Lisa goes on to give five ways how we may help our primary sponsor build the coalition of support.

  1. Present a compelling case for the change. Executives value facts, data and outcomes. You make their job easier by equipping them with the right information and research to make a compelling case for change.
  2. Use tailored and plain language. Leaders are often unfamiliar with change management terms, so use plain-spoken terms and tailor the conversation.
  3. Build out a Sponsor Coalition Map. Analysing sponsor commitment and alignment across the organisation helps, and diagramming this enables you to visualise the level of support you have for a change in each business group.
  4. Equip sponsors and change agents. Most sponsors have Awareness of the importance of their role and the Desire to be an effective sponsor. However, few have received opportunities to develop their Knowledge of what effective sponsors do.
  5. Coach sponsors. Periodic, one-on-one coaching sessions help sponsors translate their Knowledge into Ability.

2. MOLLIE WEST DUFFY & LIZ FOSSLIEN.
Managers, What Are You Doing About Change Exhaustion?

This article, published in the Harvard Business Review blog, discusses how leaders can help their teams combat change exhaustion. Too often, organisations simply encourage their employees to be resilient, placing the burden of finding ways to feel better solely on individuals. Leaders need to recognise that change exhaustion is not an individual issue but a collective one that needs to be addressed at the team or organisation level. 
 
Mollie and Liz have written the two books "Big Feelings: How to Be Okay When Things Are Not Okay" and "No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work". This article is looking at it from a stress management point of view, but it is highly relevant from a change management point of view. 

The authors suggest four things; First, pause to acknowledge when a significant change is happening and the discomfort that comes with it. Second, adopt a learning mindset and model for your team that it's normal to continuously evolve, especially in the face of ongoing uncertainty. Third, make plans, but accept that you and your team will likely deviate from them. Lastly, invest in simple rituals that the team can do together to reduce stress.

3. THE CHANGE COMPASS.
Managers. Are you outsourcing too much of your Change Management?

This article asks a great question: Most companies are dealing with many significant change initiatives. For many companies, the approach is to hire a Change practitioner as a contractor to carry out various tasks so that change is managed. Is this the right approach? Is hiring contractor Change practitioners considered outsourcing too much of a core management responsibility and capability?

How to develop change capability in a way that will lead to sustained capability improvement and business results? The article recommends several approaches:

  1. For companies lacking in fundamental change management capability, hire a change consultant who can work with you on leading change initiatives and embed business capability development as a part of the work. Key upcoming talents may be selected to participate in the project. However, the key is to look for consultants who have experience in developing broad organisational capabilities (vs skills training) and project delivery. This may involve coaching managers, conducting brown-bag sessions, facilitating change agent sessions, facilitating planning sessions, aligning with a performance management system, etc.
  2. For companies wishing to acquire a broader level of change capability, training may help to provide a clear level of understanding. However, without direct application of what was learnt and receiving ongoing feedback to master the skill, the learning may simply remain on the shelf. Again, after training has been rolled out, work with Change practitioners who can design ongoing capability development as a part of initiative planning & execution to further embed the learning.
  3. For larger companies with numerous concurrent change initiatives, work on developing change processes and systems to manage the overall portfolio of initiatives. This includes developing an integrated view and a central repository of change initiatives, details of initiative impact (including employee, business, and customer impacts), benefits targeted, and delivery risks.

4. BEING FIRST.
Why Traditional Change Sponsorship is Insufficient for Transformation

Being first is a great source for change articles. In this, they discuss what they see as a problem with the traditional change sponsorship.

A fundamental condition for success in your change efforts is a solid, co-creative partnership between your sponsor and project lead. Most executives recognise the importance of sponsoring major change efforts. However, the traditional approach to change sponsorship does not create an effective partnership in most cases. Why? What's missing?

The article argues that the traditional sponsorship model does not work for transformational change. Using it is a predictable condition for failure. Transformational change has unique dynamics and requirements that put special demands on the role of the sponsor. It is far more complex, being both less controllable and more emotional.

For maximum success, a partnership must be formed between your sponsor and the project lead and yourself, and you must consciously create their partnership around:

  1. Shared responsibility for figuring out the best outcomes to pursue.
  2. Active and ongoing communications.
  3. Two-way coaching on how each person's mindset, behaviour, and style affect project results.
  4. Delivering honest and useful feedback.

5. JOHN KOTTER.
John Kotter Discusses His New Book, "Change"

This extensive interview with John Kotter is interesting. Kotter needs no further introduction in the field of Change Management, having written arguably the most influential books in the space. This book, "Change: How Organisations Achieve Hard-to-Imagine Results in Uncertain and Volatile Times", is not new as it came out last year, but it is worth reading or watching this interview.

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From the inside flap of the book, you can read that "In Change..John P. Kotter and his team deliver an in-depth, evidence-based, and practical blueprint for organisations undertaking an effort to change rapidly to meet the challenges of the modern world. You'll find case studies and success stories that describe organisations that have built into their company's DNA the ability to adapt with blinding speed, outmanoeuvre their competitors, and evade existential threats. You'll also read about organisations that have not been so successful, failing to change themselves and suffering the consequences.

Worth a read if you ask me.

6. ANNE-LISE MACKENZIE.
Five ways Change Agents can harness informal influence

This article posted on Changefirsts blog by Anne-Lise MacKenzie is about the importance of Change Agents and how to leverage them best. She starts by describing Stanley Milgram's classic study "Six Degrees of Separation" and concludes that 1) organisations are more matrixed than ever, so formal power is more diffused than in the past, 2) leaders seem to have less formal power or at least are more impacted by informal influence in the organisation and 3) recruits to the workforce can often potentially seem more resistant to old leadership styles.

This calls for Change Agents. So, what can Change Agents do to be more effective around leveraging the power of influence?

  1. Establish a network of influencers early in the change process. You need to talk to people during the initiation stage of the project before they become influenced by others
  2. Where possible, identify key influencers on project teams and steering groups. People tend to buy into whatever they create unless there are big personal consequences for themselves
  3. Ask other people - who are influential in your part of the business? You won't know everyone, and others can help you plug gaps in your networks
  4. Make sure that you have the Knowledge and information to deal with experts. Plan those meetings very carefully. You want all the information at hand to be convincing and credible. Bring others to the meeting if necessary. Experts can be very unforgiving of people who they view as having poor technical Knowledge
  5. If you are more junior than the people you need to influence, you need to leverage your position by influencing more senior people to help you. If possible, you want one of their colleagues talking to them. It's not so much about seniority as it is about trust.

7. CHRISTOPHER SMITH.
12 change management recommendations for executives you should consider 

This blog includes some of the best recommendations for the senior executive team, like top managers, regarding the organisational change.

If you are an executive responsible for handling organisational change, the below-provided technical points are perfect for you regarding corporate change management.

  1. Meet and discuss with all business executives.
  2. Focus on hard and soft fundamentals.
  3. Accept time consumption
  4. Maintain performance integrity
  5. Analyse the workloads
  6.  Identify the factors that ease and hinder the change
  7. Analyse the conflicts
  8. Updating the workforce on major organisational changes
  9. Handle hesitate
  10. Involve all layers
  11. Document the process and make it accessible for everyone
  12. Draft the evolution's framework

A final thought: To ensure the change is smooth and more manageable, develop employee recognition, compensation, and award schemes. Employees work more effectively when they are rewarded and benefit from additional compensation. Hence, do not forget the emotional side of change management, like introducing reward systems for employees to target the expected results.

8. PAULINE NAVEAU and VINCENT PIEDBOEUF.
This is how they used Change Management to shift mindsets and succeed

This article is written by Nexum's own Pauline Naveau and Vincent Piedboeuf. They are describing a case with a bank having undergone a merger, and they are implementing a New Target Operating Model (TOM) with a heavy emphasis on mindset and behavioural change.

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The change was high risk, as depicted in the risk grid above. Briefly, the challenge was that in the IT department, where many efforts went into preparing and managing the change, results show a massive difference in adoption and engagement compared to the rest of the organisation. An engagement survey conducted before CM solutions were deployed suggested a modest progression in only 4 out of 11 categories under scrutiny. A second mirror survey at the two-year mark showed that 10 categories had largely improved, with the most significant progress being registered in human-based categories.

The article talks about the tools and set of specific actions that contributed to driving and solidifying the change. The early and extensive use of PROSCI's methodology helped ensure alignment around a clearly articulated vision and defined change. NEXUM also designed two workstreams to create new mindsets and empower the right community.

Excellent read - great with case studies. Let's make and share more of them.

9. THE CHANGE COMPASS.
Why you shouldn't always follow a change management process

This article from The Change Compass describes the pitfalls of rigorously following a change management process. Change Management processes are popular. On Google, the 2nd most searched term in change management is 'change management process. Users are keen to understand a standard formula that they can apply to manage any change. Most users are looking for something simple and clear and lay out a step-by-step process that describes what they need to do to manage change.

Prosci is one of the most known change processes. Change First has a 'PCI' (People Centred Implementation) model. Then there are John Kotter's 8 steps for leading change. What all the models have in common is the initial engagement and planning, followed by change implementation, ending with a transition and sustaining phase.

So what is wrong with using a change management process? Well, not one change process may be relevant for all cases. No change management process can suit every company and every type of change. This is why it is a good idea to leverage a diverse range of change processes for change managers who are starting in the industry. Different change processes may cover different areas, therefore providing a synergistic range of references.

There are many potential pitfalls with sticking to one process. For example, it may inhibit experimentation. One of the core aspects of agile ways of implementing change is experimentation. In change management, there is little practice in experimentation. Potential experiments can include:

  • Communication positioning
  • Leader storyline for the rationale of the change
  • Training content
  • Change measurement
  • Impact assessment design
  • Townhall design
  • Behaviour reinforcement and incentives

A second potential pitfall with sticking with one process is not sufficiently emphasising the importance of measurement.

10. PARESA NOBLE.
The Impact of Organizational Change Management on Digital Transformation

Paresa is writing for Third Stage Consulting Group, an ERP and digital transformation consulting firm. In this article, Paresa discusses the impact of organisational change management on digital transformation.

From the article: It's no secret that organisational change management (OCM) is a critical component of any digital transformation initiative. In fact, many experts believe that OCM is the key to success when it comes to successfully transitioning to a more efficient digital business model.

There are many reasons why OCM is so important to digital transformation.

  1. Digital transformations are often very complex initiatives that touch every aspect of the organisation. This means that there are a lot of moving parts and a lot of people who need to be involved in order for the initiative to be successful.
  2. Digital transformations require employees to adopt new technologies and/or processes that are outside of their comfort zones
  3. Digital transformations can be disruptive to organisational culture.

Once you have a good understanding of organisational readiness, you can start to develop your OCM plan. Your plan should include a communications strategy, training and development programs, and change management processes.

The article then goes on to describe each of those three parts. Videos by  Eric Kimberling and  Paresa Noble are included, which dive deeper into how to get executive alignment and the two pillars of OCM strategy. They are worth watching.

11. CHANGE ON THE RUN w/PHIL BUCKLEY & TIM CREASEY.
Closing a Change Project

Change On The Run is an excellent change podcast, which I will recommend that you follow. In this episode, Phil is joined by change and innovation leader Tim Creasey to discuss how to close a change project.
 

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A project team's effectiveness in transferring responsibilities to operating groups often dictates the level of long-term adoption of new ways of working.

Managing the closing of a change project can be challenging because most leaders and project team members may have physically or mentally moved on to their next roles and challenges.

Building awareness of the importance of the project's final steps is necessary to ensure people fulfil their roles. If they don't, a poor shutdown will negatively affect the benefits realised and the perception of the project team's capabilities.

So, how do close a change project to build capability, transfer accountabilities and sustain the new ways of working that deliver the intended outcomes?

 

 
 
 
 

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