Why is change so difficult? Because most of us like comfort. We may complain about routine, but the majority of folks secretly like it. And almost any organizational change threatens our existing comfort zone. Change requires movement from what we know to what we don’t yet know. Like people, organizational cultures prefer to remain the same. That’s why even changes directed at entire departments or organizations, rather than specific individuals, often meet resistance.
So why bother with change when the odds of success are stacked against it? The answer is simple: All businesses must continually change or they will die. The markets demand change; customers demand change. Therefore, you either instigate change or it will happen to you. David Nielson, a leading authority on organizational change, says to better prepare your team for change and have a successful implementation, be sure you do the following:
- Communicate the business case for the change
- Identify internal change agents (allies) and engage with them
- Educate and support the change agents
- Assess adoption readiness
- Define and support effective behavior
- Execute a communication plan about the change
Remember, implementation will fail unless sufficient time and resources are allocated to the process of learning. These six steps form the foundation of successful implementation. Miss one and you’re asking for trouble.
Make Your Technology Implementations Work
The message is clear: Technology is not the answer. Yes, it’s an important piece of the puzzle, but it’s not the all-encompassing solution so many people believe it to be. If you just focus on the tool, you may end up the fool. But if you focus on the business, the tool and the people within the organization who will be using the tool, you’ll be the leader who not only uses technology effectively but who also sees great gains in productivity and profit.
Michael Menard is the author of “A Fish in Your Ear: The New Discipline of Project Portfolio Management,” and co-founder and president of The GenSight Group, which provides enterprise portfolio-management solutions for strategic planning, project-portfolio management and business-performance optimization. For more information, visit www.afishinyourear.com .