In this 5 part series, Darwin co-founder Dr. Jim Rae discusses the critical steps required for a successful change management initiative.
Step 1: Assess
A project or change initiative launch brings a flurry of activity. The implementation team is assembled, meets several times to discuss and create their schedule and aligns their activities. They are energized, confident and optimistic about the task ahead.
By contrast, the employees hearing about the upcoming changes are often wary or apathetic. Rumours about the extent of the change swirl around the organization. There is talk of introducing disruptive new processes, steep learning curves and the possibility of lay-offs. Newer employees are worried; and longer tenured employees are often non-committal, adopting a “wait and see” attitude.
Enter the change manager. How do you communicate with employees, grow a positive awareness of the change and find stakeholders wanting to participate in the change? Where, exactly, do you start?
You start by measuring change readiness. You cannot plan and execute effective change management tactics without knowing the level of organizational support – or resistance – to your project or initiative.
And the rules for measuring are important. As Pearl Zhu, author of Change Insight: Change as an Ongoing Capability to Fuel Digital Transformation writes, “Whatever the measurement system is, it needs to be consistent, repeatable and as unbiased as possible.”
The Darwin Change Management Platform has created a consistent, repeatable, unbiased and above all, accurate way to measure organizational change readiness. A change manager uploads human resources data into the Darwin Platform in a single keystroke, sends employees (via the executive sponsor) a research-tested three-question survey, and watches the responses as employees complete the questions on their desktops or mobile phones. In 3-7 days you have a complete map of the organization’s change-readiness concerning your project or initiative.
Now you can begin planning your accurate, perfectly scoped change management strategy, while sharing your valuable employee data and comments with executives and the implementation team.
Without a proper change-readiness assessment, you and your implementation team are just guessing. And the odds of succeeding are stacked against you.
Next Blog – Step 2: Develop..