Managing the process is managing change
What is change all about?
To survive in today's competitive environment, organizations often need to make drastic changes. This results in top management issuing directives for necessary change. The middle management must then take drastic measures to figure out what really needs to be changed. Discussions and meetings are held. The present and desired future state of the company gets drawn out. Reports get made on what works and what needs change. And the buck usually stops here. Implementation, which is the key, suffers. To bring about change successfully, one needs to know more about change than what needs to be changed. Most of you will go figure, what needs to change to 'get the job done' but chances are you will not know how to go about it. Your focus will be more on content and less on process. However, what is critical is that you are able to manage the process of change successfully.
As an analogy think of a river as your process. Water flows along the riverbed in the direction the river takes. The river contains fish, plants, rocks, wood, and flotsam. Think of these as content. Changing the content will not affect the direction the river takes. Changing the flow, or process, however, will have impact. To take an example, if your employees are de-motivated, what good will changing the structure of your organization do? To understand why they are de-motivated may be a far better idea. Increasing their work satisfaction may yield better results. Hence, before you start the engine, understand what change really entails. What is it really about? Now sit back and answer what follows, if you can!
  • What is your feeling about change?
  • Are you aware of the changes your colleagues, bosses, and employees are going through (personal or otherwise)?
  • Do you know what your clients, suppliers, and stakeholders feel about change?
You hopefully do have all the answers. However, our advice to you is that do not work on assumptions. Cross-check and make sure you know, directly with the parties involved. Then you can say that you now know more about change than what needs to be changed!
Feb 2015